Friday, February 26, 2016

A Slightly 90's McCall's 6886

Just a quick post for today! I went on a bit of a pattern-buying spree recently, and I acquired M6886 (along with many of its closest friends).

This is a pretty simple knit tee dress, but it's quite flattering!

Knit Shift Tee Dress M6886, modeled on a beach; paired with wide belt, leggings, and boots

I sewed a straight size 14 because the finished measurements were spot on with mine, but I would go a size down for the next one. I ended up taking it in at each side by about half an inch. The armscyes were also a bit large after all this. My solution was to throw it in the dryer after the next wash, because the fabric is mostly cotton.

Speaking of the fabric, you're looking at one of the surprise fabrics from my December Girl Charlee KnitFix. This one is a "Coral Brown Floral on Black Cotton Spandex Knit." If you haven't heard of Girl Charlee's KnitFix, it's a fun way to get a pretty good deal on some surprise mystery knits. I'm not a prolific enough sewer to get a KnitFix regularly, but they make great presents! I think this one has a slight 90's vibe, which is just fine by me! Plus, I'm pretty sure that's in right now.

That's about all there is to say on this dress, except that I used a three-step zigzag stitch for all of the finishing. I'm pretty sure this was a suggestion from Sallie Oh. Thanks, Sallie!

Knit Shift Tee Dress M6886, front view shows wide scoop neckline

Knit Shift Tee Dress M6886, side view shows figure-hugging form, as well as slightly large armscyes

Knit Shift Tee Dress M6886, back view also shows figure-hugging form, as well as high back neckline

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Autumn Floral Saltspring

In general, I am not one for New Year's resolutions. That being said, I've been wanting to start up a sewing blog for a good while. This community is full of such interesting, creative people, and I want to be friends with them!

I can't say that I'll be posting very frequently – after all, even my New Year's resolution got delayed until February. I only started sewing about a year ago, and I am still pretty slow. Nevertheless, I think I'll give it a shot!

With that, here is one of the first things I have made that I would argue looks genuinely alright, the Sewaholic Saltspring.

Karen in Sewaholic Saltspring, paired with cardigan and boots

I have made this dress once before, but I think it would be best to consider the final product a wearable muslin. The bust was too tight, I did a weird buttonhole experiment on the straps that only panned out so-so, and the insides were finished terribly. It looks like the scrap bin in there.

This one turned out much better.

Karen in Sewaholic Saltspring with belt

The modifications I made involved the straps, the bust, and the blousing at the back.

First off, I did a 1" FBA using Tasia’s tutorial. And yes, I did a whole internet search to sleuth out whether adding one inch to each bodice half qualified as a 1" or 2" FBA. Thank God for the Curvy Sewing Collective. They've got it all figured out here. The result added a dart, which I prefer anyhow.

Side view of Sewaholic Saltspring, added bust dart visible

I also changed the straps from the original spaghetti straps to a wider, gathered strip of fabric. I cut mine to around 12" by 5", but I would suggest simply measuring your own shoulder or the strap on another top, then adding the seam allowance. I gathered the ends of each strap before sewing them into the bodice.

Sewaholic Saltspring's altered straps, about two inches wide, gathered at the bodice attachment point

Last but not least, I curved the bodice back piece up, cutting off a wedge ending at the zipper. This matched up the bodice back and the bodice back lining lengths at the center back. You can see the wedge folded up in the picture below.

Sewaholic Saltspring pattern bodice back, showing folded wedge at bottom to eliminate blousing near the zipper

I love the blousing on the Saltspring, but those open bits at the center back just aren't my style, as I have a tendency to get myself caught on doorknobs, chair arms, etc. This way, there's a clean finish along the entire length of the zipper.

Center back zipper in the Sewaholic Saltspring, showing clean finish along zipper edge and hand-picked zipper finish

If you wanted to keep the blousing at the back, I think you might also be able to stitch the whole bodice back down along the zipper, so that it is basically just folded at the bottom. Does that seem reasonable? Maybe not. I suppose it would impede wearing with a belt.

Karen in Sewaholic Saltspring, paired with cardigan and boots

Overall, I'm pretty psyched about this pattern, and I have plans to make the maxi length (probably with a gratuitously long side slit) for summer.