Completed: MCalls 6996 Cardigan and MCalls 7085 Dress

Here’s another of the ponte dresses I made a few weeks ago, with a cardigan that I just finished over the weekend.  Last winter I made a black ponte dress and wore until it was ratty, so I needed to replace it.

Cardigan and Dress

The pattern I used for the dress is McCalls 7085.  It suggests woven fabric, so I cut a size smaller than I normally would.  I also omitted the zipper and instead of a neck facing, I did a simple turn and stitch finish on the neckline.

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My pattern alterations were minimal.  I did a forward shoulder adjustment and lowered the bust darts a little bit.  I think the hem of the dress could stand to peg in a bit more, but overall I’m happy with it.   It’s a simple basic that I’m sure will get a lot of wear.
Cardigan and Dress

The cardigan is McCall’s 6696.  I sewed view D.

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I’m a little late to the game on this one, as it was a pretty popular pattern a while ago, but I’m glad I finally tried it.  It was super easy to sew and it fits pretty well.  Definitely repeat-worthy.  I’d love to make it up in a sweater knit.

Cardigan and Dress

This is another piece of fabric from the bins at Michael Levine Loft.  It’s a snake print jersey, that I picked up for muslin making.  It’s probably a poly/cotton blend, but I’m not sure.  I honestly didn’t like this fabric at all, but now that it’s sewn up, I’m kinda into it.  I was careful when cutting so that the lighter less snake-like portion of the print would be at the center front, and I think that helps.

Cardigan and Dress

Here’s a couple flat shots.  I sewed this on my machine with a stretch stitch and then serged the seam allowances.  I suppose I could have just serged the entire thing.  But I like the control the sewing machine gives me.  Plus, I have a hard time committing to the serger straight away.  I think it’s easier to unpick sewing machine stitches if I want to make a fit adjustment as I sew.

Cardigan and Dress

Cardigan and Dress

Does anyone else have serger-commitment phobia?  Maybe one of these days I will just force myself to construct a garment directly on it, I’m sure it would save time.

Completed: McCall 6886

I’ve been on a ponte kick lately.  In the last couple of months I’ve made 5 garments out of it, including this dress.  Technically, this is just a wearable muslin, so it’s got a few issues to be worked out.  But I still like it.

McCalls 6886

The pattern is McCall 6886.

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My alterations included doing a forward shoulder adjustment (which has become standard for me), and I added 2 fish-eye darts to the back because I had a lot of excess fabric in the mid back.  Next time I will also do a sway back adjustment.  I may also peg the bottom of the skirt a little bit.

McCalls 6886

McCalls 6886

The construction was really straightforward. I sewed the sleeves in flat, and just turned and stitched the neckline. Easy peasy.

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The fabric came from Michael Levine Loft, a fabric-by-the-pound store where you dig through boxes and boxes of fabric.  When I saw this ponte, I wasn’t in love with it, because green isn’t really my color.  But I picked it up thinking it would be good for muslin making.  It turns out that I actually like how the fabric looks sewn up.  But sadly, because it’s pretty low quality, the green stripes have started to pill.  :(   I was in NYC last week, and found some hopefully better quality striped ponte at Mood, so I’m planning to remake this dress soon.

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I really like this pattern.  It’s simple and easy to sew, the finished dress is super comfy to wear, and with a jacket, and I feel put together for work.  Yay for secret pajamas!
McCalls 6886

Completed: Archer Button Up Shirt

I’ve got a backlog of garments to blog, and honestly I don’t know if I’ll get to it. So, I thought I’d just start off with the last thing I made: an Archer Button Up from Grainline Studio.

Archer

The fabric I chose is a mid-weight linen/cotton blend.  (I ordered it online, but don’t remember where.)   I don’t know if it was an ideal choice for this shirt, it’s a little stiff. But I think it will soften over time since it’s got a high percentage of linen, or at least that’s the hope.

Archer

Fit wise, it’s big through the mid back. I wasn’t sure how to get rid of the excess without losing the ease I need through the hip. Looking at it now, I’m thinking maybe a sway back adjustment.  Any thoughts/ideas are definitely welcome. :)

Archer

I wanted to make this as a loose “topper” kind of shirt, something that I might throw on when it’s cool in lieu of a hoodie. So, even though the fit could be improved, I think it hits the mark for the purpose I had in mind.

Here are some flat shots:

Archer

Archer

Archer

Archer

As you can see, I used some polka dots on the inside – I can’t help myself.  :)  I hemmed the shirt by using a strip of bias tape.  I think it worked pretty well, and it reduced bulk.

Archer

I recently got a new sewing machine, and I love the buttonholes it made!  (I will do a full review after I’ve sewn on it longer.)
Archer

I always have a tough time sewing collars, and this shirt was no different.  I know I just need more practice.  After ripping it out a few times, I think it turned out pretty good.

Archer

One change I made to the pattern was to add tower plackets to the sleeves.  This was my first time sewing these.  Unfortunately, I think they turned out a little too long. But that will be an easy fix for next time.

Archer

The pattern doesn’t include tower plackets, so I used this template from Threads.  For sewing instructions, I referred to these tutorials: (1) Sewaholic and (2) Off the Cuff.

Archer

So, there you go, that’s my Archer.  I liked this pattern, it went together easily (except for my mental block with sewing the collar).  The sleeves eased in really beautifully, which is a big thumbs up in my book.  I hate wrangling with too much sleeve cap ease.  I think its repeat-worthy, but I want to wear this one for a while before cutting another.

archer

Completed: Simplicity 2444/McCall6833 Mashup

Ever have a pattern that you like part of, but not the whole thing?  That’s the story of this dress.

Bubbles dress

A few months ago I decided to sew McCall 6833.  But after three failed muslins, I gave up on the bodice.  It just wasn’t working for me.

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However, I liked the skirt.  I also noticed that in addition to the pleated skirt you see on the envelope, the pattern came with pieces for a 1/4 circle skirt lining that looked promising to use on its own.  And so I filed it away in the “to use later” pile and moved on.

I recently came back to the pattern and decided to give it a try with the bodice of Simplicity 2444, which is one of my favorites.  I used the M6833 skirt lining pieces, and I think it worked out really well.  I get the ‘fit and flair’ silhouette that I like, but the skirt is not overly full, and doesn’t blow up in the wind.

bubbles dress

Luckily I didn’t have to make any adjustments to make the skirt piece fit the bodice, the patterns matched up well.  I did lengthen the skirt by a few inches.  Because it was a lining pattern, it was pretty short as drafted.

bubbles dress

The fabric is stretch cotton sateen that I bought from Mood Fabrics in L.A.  I think I’ve said it before, but this is one of my favorite types of fabrics to sew and wear.  I like the body it gives this skirt. I tried to take care with the pattern placement over the front bodice, and I think the back matching looks pretty good.

bubbles dress

Here are some flat shots.

bubbles dress

The bodice darts get lost in the pattern, but they are there.

bubbles dress

bubbles dress

bubbles dress

~The armholes are finished with bias tape, and top stitched down.~

bubbles dress

~I did a small rolled hem so I didn’t have to hand stitch, or struggle to ease in a deeper hem.~

On the last night I was sewing this dress, the power to my house was scheduled to be shut off because the utility company was doing some line work.  I really wanted to wear the dress to work the next day, so it was a race against the clock to finish. I got it done just in time.  But wow, I don’t really like sewing under pressure. It was nice to know I can sew faster, but I think I’ll stick to my usual slow pace. :)

bubbles dress

Completed: Another Vogue 8379

After the success of my first Vogue 8379, I decided to make another.

Wrap 2

I made a couple of minor changes this time.  I went with the short sleeve version, and then shortened the sleeves an extra couple of inches.  I also lengthened the bodice by 1/2″. On my last dress, I thought the length was okay.  But after wearing it a few times, I decided it would be more comfortable if it was longer.  I was right, now the ties rest in a more natural spot.

Wrap 2

The fabric is an ITY knit that I ordered online a long time ago.   It sat in my stash because I wasn’t sure about the print.  It’s a brighter fabric than I normally choose.  But I think it pairs nicely with this pattern.

I’m particularly happy with how I got the colors to match up along the wrap side.

Wrap 2

And no gaping, yay!

Wrap 2

Here’s the inside.

Vogue 8379

Vogue 8379

I omitted the facings again. (I just turned the seam allowances under and top stitched them down.)

Vogue 8379

I wanted to make sure the ties were securely attached, so I stitched around in a rectangle. (Last time I only had one line of stitching holding the ties on and they feel a bit wobbly.  I need to go back and reinforce them.)

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I’m also happy to report that I did a better job finishing the seam with the tie opening this time around.  :)

Vogue 8379

I seriously could make several more of these dresses (and maybe I will)!

Wrap 2