Friday, March 8, 2013

McCall's 6563 - Taming of the Shrew-d Rayon Knit

This one is for my sweet mom.  We went fabric shopping the other day (which we haven't done in years and it was so much fun!) and she picked out this fabric.  I've made McCall's 6563 for her before so I knew the fit would be fine.  She chose a very lightweight rayon knit which, as many of you know, takes a bit of wrangling.  The instructions are well written but I did do a couple of things that helped me tame the fabric:

There is a pivot point on the shoulder seam on the front.  I put a small piece of fusible knit to reinforce the pivot  and then did the stay stitching the pattern calls for.  It helps hold the weight of the drapey neckline and make a cleaner edge.

My serger wanted to EAT UP a single layer of this knit, so when it came time to finish the edge of the cowl neck on my serger, I folded over 1/4" and ran it through.  The two layers of fabric made the finish look smoother without adding bulk.....and kept me sane.

I added ruching to the side of the top to add shape.  I cut a 4" piece of 1/8" elastic and stitch it down on top of the side seam starting at the hem and stretching up 7" (from hem to pin in the upper left corner).  

I used my applique foot and a very narrow zig zag to attach the elastic.  The arrow on my foot made it easy to line up.  In this photo, the elastic is stretched as I'm sewing.

Here's a close up of the outside.

And here's my pattern review:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Simplicity 1696 - I Need to Make a Red Pair

Okay, so it's next to impossible to get a good detailed picture of a black garment (this is my third round of photos) but I'm posting this anyway. I love this pants pattern so in order to better share it with you I need to make a RED pair....don't you agree? talked me into it. But until then, I'll give you the "skinny" on my new skinny pants.

I cleaned out my closet and found that, aside from jeans, I had two pair of pants! Yikes. I realize I spend a lot of time in jeans and skirts, but I need pants to put outfits together. No wonder I never have anything to wear. Let's face it, we sewists sew because we love fabric! We see something pretty, buy it, bring it home and make it....practicality aside. But there comes a time when we need to address the basics in our wardrobe. Simplicity 1696 does that.

This is my second Amazing Fit pattern (here's the first) and I don't know why I waited so long. Although approaching a pair of pants can be daunting, this pattern really helps. It comes in sizes 8-22 but in each size you can choose from slim, average or curvy fit based on the difference between your waist and hip measurements. I made a muslin in size 12 average fit (which folks, took less time than it did to find the pattern pieces....a pant muslin is always worth the time) and found I only needed to make an adjustment in the waist. Could it be true?

I added a fly extension to the pant front BEFORE I cut it out so I could use this fantastic zip fly application method. It's really well written but take note, this pant pattern has the fly on the opposite side of the tutorial so you need to mirror what you see in the tutorial. I also added real welt pockets instead of mock like the pattern calls for using this tutorial.

I have since made another pair without front pockets out of a very lightweight stretch denim and I love them even more! My hunt for red stretch denim is currently underway!

Here's my pattern review:

Pattern Description:
Misses' & Miss Petite pants slim pants have fly front, contoured waist band and front slash pockets. Individual pattern pieces included for slim, average and curvy fit.
Pattern Sizing:
Sizes 8-22. I made a 12 in the average fit.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy to follow and did include some tips for fitting.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the fit. I made a muslin and the only adjustment I had to make was to the waistband and I can't say that's every happened to me before. The construction of the pants allows you to make final adjustments to fitting without having to take everything apart. It also has 1" seam allowances in key fitting areas.
Fabric Used:
I used a black stretch twill that has a comfortable amount of stretch (but I do wish it was a little softer)
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added real welt pockets (instead of the mock that the pattern calls for), I added a fly extension directly to the front pattern piece before cutting it out and used a different fly zipper application method (so much easier). More info on my blog if you're interested.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'm making a second pair now in a very soft lightweight stretch denim and hope to make a red pair.