Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sewing: McCall's M7385

I finished sewing McCall's M7385 recently, but I probably should have sewed it two months earlier to get the full use of it for summer. It's a great easy wearing dress for warm weather so I'm hoping that we'll get some hot Indian summer days in October. The fabric is a really nice medium weight cotton that I think I bought online from Mood on sale some time ago. I've always had issues with patterns that have waist line gathering, but I liked this one because the gathers do not cover the entire front and the waist seam also slants upward from the side. I did made a few small changes to the pattern.

  • The pattern calls for lining just the side upper front pieces and I didn't want to do that because I wanted to keep the bodice cool and light in weight. I finished the armholes with bias tape cut from the fabric.
  • For some reason, the pattern does not call for a front facing piece, which is odd since the front "lapels" can fold over and the wrong side would show. I added front facings and also interfaced the corner sections so that the lapels would be crisp.
  • It's difficult to see in the photos but I sewed a button onto each lapel to keep them tacked down.
  • I added a bit extra width to the shoulders and to the front armhole areas for a bit more coverage.
  • I narrowed the skirt sections a tiny bit to cut down the fullness.
  • I top stitched many of the seams, because that's just how I roll.
I like this dress enough that I'm going to make another one in a printed cotton stretch sateen that is a little less crisp with a little more weight. I'm thinking of using a contrast fabric for the front facing/lapel.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bettie's Pullover

I recently finished knitting Bettie's Pullover. The yarn is Knit One, Crochet Too Batiste, one of my favorite yarns. It's made of merino/linen/silk and very comfortable most of the year, although the higher crew neckline makes it a bit too warm for summer. It may turn out to be one of my favorite pullovers. It has a very vintage-y 40s look to it -- I call it my Bletchley Park sweater.

As usual, I made some mods from the pattern.

  • I wanted short sleeves, and I ignored the instructions for knitting and attaching sleeves as you go. They looked too complicated and I wasn't sure about the fit. I just bound off and decreased for the arm holes and knitted standard set-in sleeves.
  • I only used one needle size smaller for the lower ribbing and didn't cast on that many extra stitches. For the body shaping, I used a smaller needle size for parts of it and did side decreases for the narrowest waist section since I had stockinette stitches at the sides.
  • I aimed for a slightly wider neckline and also a slightly lower one in the front. I would have liked it lowered a bit more because I'm not a fan of high crew necklines.
  • For the neckband, I did the ends as K1P1 and converted to double knitting for the main section. The double knitting gives it a lot of body. I skipped the button hole and just sewed the button through all layers.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

McCall's M7381 - Maxi Dress

I was recently bitten by the maxi dress bug because I kept seeing them in shops and on the blogs. I don't think I've worn one in over 30 years, so I figured it was time to try again. I wanted something really light and airy for hot weather. I chose McCall's M7381 and my fabric is this silk and cotton voile that I bought from denverfabrics.com. The color is a bit subdued but I love the feel and drape of the fabric.

I did make some changes from the pattern instructions. The pattern calls for a lining for the bodice, but I wanted to keep it really light so I omitted the lining and finished the openings with bias tape cut from the same fabric. I changed the shape of the front bodice pieces to be a little higher on the front neckline and I slanted it across the front for a wrap look. My goal was to prevent wardrobe malfunctions but it didn't help so I ended up sewing the pieces together for about one inch at the top of the overlap. The side seams are sewn with french seams. Since the fabric is thin, I lined just the top half of the skirt. The lining encases the seam and serves as a casing for the elastic.

I've worn this dress a few times and I absolutely love it. I photographed in on a breezy day, which helps give the skirt that floaty look. I have plans to make this again in the shorter length.