pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6839 } Party’s in the back…

The hubster is away & its raining outside so it seems the universe finally straightened itself out & gave me the well overdue time I needed to sit & sew. It actually started Friday in fact. I had work to do but since a lot of my work relies on the UK folk (& they were bank holidaying), I decided to pull out my ‘ol Ellie & get her all cleaned up before starting a quick project, you know, something to give me that instant satisfaction I was craving.

Some of you may recall my post last year when I told you that I had not used my overlocker in a year….that was last year MAY!! So its been 2 years since I used her & I have to say, I feel the same way about it all now as I did then.. I loved taking the break to explore my other options on finishing seams but I’ll be honest & say its nice to have her back too, plus, my pinking shears are farking blunt!! Anyone know if those can be sharpened??

Ellie needed { A LOT }of TLC to make her happy. I must have spent at least 2 hours trying to figure out her problems – tensions, needles, thread, re-thread. Nope, she did not want to know my business, so I left her overnight. Saturday she was still skipping stitches & messing me around until a light came on…{ DING } LUBRICATION!! A couple drops of oil to her vitals & she was purring like a kitten. Back in business ….

So, the task at hand was McCalls 6839 version B, with no sleeves. I used an olive viscose jersey I had purchased last year and found as close a finish dark green to match in thread. She whipped up quite easy & before you judge her from the front in all her boring-ness….McCalls6839_front

…check her out from the back!!! McCalls6839_back

I mean really, what is there not to love about a top that comes together in a matter of an hour or so, complete with party in the back??? Nothing right.

I overlocked my side seams, shoulder seams & the back drape before turning over to finish. To avoid any stretching out on the back yoke & neck I used an iron-on strip interfacing & a bias one which I bought here for the neck area. You could make your own by bias cutting soft interfacing of course – its cheaper!

So the big question – is it underthings friendly?? Well, that depends on the type of underthing you wear. I have an average sized torso & I find my normal cross strap shows if it sits centre but I do have some that sit much lower so these work fine. For example in the pics above Im wearing a low fitting bra & it does not show. (aaaahhhmmm, excuse what looks like smartie action happening on the front….oh you see, you didnt notice it at first, now Ive gone & brought it to your attention…) There are so many lovely lacey underthings on the market these days anyway,that who cares if you see something peeking…

Its worth mentioning that the back drape can be made as drapey as you like. Cut the back drape from a scrap piece of fabric & then play with what suits you best. Increasing or decreasing the back piece will give you options on how deep or high the drape hangs.

Anyway, its a good pattern, one that could even be good done in a drapey woven although you’d have to allow a little extra fabric to compensate for no stretch factor. I cut my usual size but it was around a size too big so I pinched in where I needed  before finishing off the seams.

Highly recommended so dont be surprised if you see another version before the summer is out.

xx Ange

 

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pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6173 } Missoni madness…

I made leggings.

Missoni-inspired leggings.

& guess what peeps ? They are super comfie.

The only pants you will find in my wardrobe are jeans { PLENTY } and leggings. I have no other pants…oh no wait I lie, I do have a pair of navy pants & a pair of floral pants I purchased late last year that Ive never worn, but besides those random pairs, I prefer jeans or leggings.

Now Im not one of those girls who flaunts her ass to everyone in sundry when wearing leggings ok. Im quite conservative when it comes to showing ass actually. I dont like to see butt crack, on me or anyone else, & I certainly dont like seeing camel toe! So I keep my privates rather layered over because Im a good girl like that. Call me Old School if you’d like but thats how I roll so leggings only just make the grade in my wardrobe & even then, they have to be super cute & fit really well otherwise they { OUT }.

I like to wear leggings because they layer so well & you can get such awesome leggings these days to brighten up any wardrobe, especially during Autumn and Winter. A little peek-a-boo colour between your boots & a knitted dress is pretty cool IMO. I love to browse the Black Milk website for inspiration. I particularly like their Galaxy leggings as well as their Mermaid variety.

So when I saw this Missoni-inspired fabric, I knew I had to purchase a metre in order to squeeze out a pair of leggings for Autumn. These are the first leggings Ive ever made, but certainly not the last!!

Here are the deets peeps : McCalls_6173_tights2

{ DESCRIPTION }  McCalls 6173 Close fitting pants with various finishes ie. View A has waistband with mock fly front zipper and exposed zippers at the ankles, View B is straight up normal, View C has a normal elasticated waistband with gathered/ruched ankles. I made the straight up B’s.

{ FABRIC USED } 1 metre of viscose jersey purchased via Buttinette.

{ SIZING } Hmmm….I read all the reviews on PR but it was hard to judge on the sizing because stretch fabrics have various degrees of stretch(iness). Based on the envelope sizing, I cut a large but once I sewed the legs together I knew immediately I would drown in them so I cut away & then cut away & cut away some more. Im guessing I cut right down to a small! This is a picture of the leggings laid down under a pair of my store bought leggings. This was { AFTER } the first cut so I still had a way to go before they fit. McCalls_6173_tights1

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Since these leggings are pretty much one piece for each side & a waistband, I didnt even look at the instructions. { SIMPLE SEWING }.

{ ALTERATIONS / CHANGES } Absolutely none..unless you count the sizing issue an alteration.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } I know over the summer I branded many a pattern super easy, for instance the McCalls 6751 and the Vogue 2091, this really is the simplest, easiest thing Ive sewn to date & perfect for beginners.

{ TIME } No time at all. An hour at the most providing you dont need to do numerous size adjustments.

{ SUM IT UP }  Highly recommended pattern for a basic legging that you really cant go wrong with. Super comfie if you use the right fabric & easy enough for a real beginner to make. I have short-ish legs so I managed to cut my leggings out of a metre fabric with a nice size offcut down one side. I always keep my offcuts because I know I can use them for something along the way. McCalls_6173_tights3

Have you made leggings ? If so, which ones? Id like to try leggings with some detail next time, not just at the ankle ie. zips or ruching. Id like to give it a go at some point with pleather strips or combination fabrics – could be really fun.

Whatever you do, or wherever you venture this weekend, stay safe x

pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6751 } Again ?…

Yep, again…albeit this time View D.McCalls_6751_front

I had such fun with View A last week, so before it had a chance to be categorized & numerically stored (because thats how the OCD side of my personality rolls) I decided to whip up View D for some extra fun.

I dug around my stash & found this poly-cotton blend in black with pink polkas. Ive had this fabric in my stash for about 8 or 9 years so it was time to be used. Im not one to blame my tools or materials, but this fabric made the sew fairly troublesome. It slipped around while I was sewing & I noticed the overall finish not as good as I know it could be. Once it got its final press, things looked better but I still dont think this top will be worn any place other than around the house – and thats ok with me because its cool & comfie. McCalls_6751_side

As I said with View A, this is a terribly easy pattern to sew which can be turned around in one hour. For all views, the same front piece is used only swapping out the backs for whichever design you prefer. View D is more conservative compared to View A with a full covered, sloping back & cute pleats to the top for a little detail. As with View A, I french seamed side seams as well as shoulder seams however this time I also sewed down the french seam giving a top-stitch to the seams for something different.McCalls_6751_back

You can bind the edges with bias binding or do as I did by simply hemming.

Im guessing I wont stop sewing this pattern until Ive made at least all 4 options….so you will have to bear with me lovelies 🙂 Since this pattern is so perfect (& easy) for summer, Im making the most of the 35 degree plus weather & getting some last summer sewing in while I can. McCalls_6751_detail

In other news, I also wanted to thank Red Point Tailor for the thoughtful Super Sweet Blogging Award from a few weeks back. I absolutely appreciate every single visitor to my blog, but love reading  your blogs even more 🙂 For me, the community of sewing bloggers is a positive reminder every day that there are wonderfully talented & thoughtful women (and men) out there always ready to inspire.

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6751 } Stripes ahead…

mccalls_6751_front

I realise this pattern has a big { EASY } button smacked on the front of the envelope & believe me, not only is it easy, but its super { FAST } to sew up too. From cutting to final press, this took exactly 1 hour….& that includes having to take a little break to rest my eyes after the first round of hemming because the stripes were screwing with my eyes. I used the break to fill my tummy with some chilled After Eights but Im sure you didnt come here to read about my chocolate addiction!

This McCalls 6751 pattern shows 4 variations which are all super cute. I chose View A & sewed it straight from the envelope, zero alterations. I omitted the pocket because I find it kinda stupid thats why. The length was fine for me, but for those with long torsos, you will need to make the adjustments.mccalls_6751_back

I used a slight stretch cotton that I cant tell if its navy & white or black & white! When I stare at the stripes too close or too long, my eyes give up. Whatevs, I dig it….& I love how the stripes change direction on the back…OH & the criss-cross back!!!. Instead of using the bias hemming method, I simply hemmed with a small hem using a contrast lime green thread for a little detail of colour which came out looking really cool – I think.mccalls_6751_contrast_stitching

This is super beginner, super easy, super fast which kinda equals { INSTANT GRATIFICATION } sewing. There are endless possibilities with the use of colour, edgings & fabric choices. You could even substitute lace for the back pieces which would look amazing, providing you use the right lace of course.

If you dont already have this pattern in your collection, I highly recommend it. If you already have this pattern, go & make it….you need but 1 hour!

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

pattern review · sewing

{McCalls 5241 (C) – 1 Hour Cardigan}

McCalls 5241-f

I made version C of this cardigan back in 2009 as I so embarrassingly disclosed in the previous post but once it was completed it just didnt feel right. The back was 100% correct length but the front tails were just too long & yuk. So it was boxed, until a few days ago. I had just hit a sewing mojo & I couldnt figure out why. I think my {ALTERATIONS BOX} has something to do with it though. I feel so guilty starting a new project when I have unfinished projects waiting to be attended to. So, one down & a few more to go to total guilt-free sewing!

I found this piece of knitted brown-with-gold-thread delightfulness in a store back in Holland when we lived there 2009-2010. Im not usually a brown lovin’ girl but paired with the gold thread, I was sold. I also loved the slight cable pattern which you can see nicely in this pic.

knit_closeup

After cutting off some of the length (which now made it version B), I wanted more fullness around the neck so I could also wrap it like a pashmina so I added around 30cm all along which I can now either fold over or scrunch & fling over my shoulder.

McCalls 5241-b

An easy {EASY} pattern which consists of just 2 pieces. No seams under the arms or shoulders…just make the holes & attached the sleeves. Knowing what I know now about this pattern & if I were to try it again, Im sure it would take me just 1 hour but for the first attempt…..how many hours in 3 years  ??? hahahahaha

Recommended for beginners +

Thanks for stopping by x

sewing

{Alterations – like | dislike}

{ALTERATIONS} – hmmmm…to me they are like dark, scary creature living under my bed. or hiding behind the door. For real, I know they are not that scary {or even exist…pfft} but there is something about an alteration that just makes me lose my mojo. I can procrastinate on an alteration {FOREVER}.

Classic example : I stitched this lovely McCalls 5241 “1-hr cardigan” back in 2009. yes, you read correctly 2009!!

McCalls5241

Back then I was still using my old sewing machine thats built like a tractor and sews like one too. Yeah, you guessed it, Im just trying to blame my machine when what I did was silly & buggered up the edgings by not using the correct needle. Its not like the edges are terrible, they just werent 100% to my liking. So the finished item was never reviewed (even though I have pretty good things to say about it), never worn (even though I really love the fabric) & went straight into the {ALTERATIONS BOX} for fixing. 3 and a half years later…never fixed….

All that is about to change…Im tired of having an alterations box. Honestly, there is nothing cute about it for me. It just reminds me how much I still have to get through & makes me feel guilty for starting a new project.

Do you enjoy alterations ? I know there are many sewers that love to do alterations…{THRIVE} on them in fact. Are you one of those or do you procrastinate on them like I do? Do you have an {ALTERATIONS box / bag / wardrobe}?

Thanks for stopping by x