Showing posts with label mccalls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mccalls. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

McCalls 7116 - A Modern Pattern for a Vintage Style Tea Dress ( Top) .


I really enjoy re-using my sometimes very old patterns again and again but  I have to remind myself to stay a bit up to date so I don`t end up looking like a Kath from Kath and Kim ( when I watching that show I realised that I had the exact same earrings as Kath and immediately went and got rid of them ! they were large tropical fish dangle earrings so yeah very dubious taste ) .
So the irony is that I have sewn up a current pattern with a vintage look.


The pattern is McCalls 7116 which came with a magazine I bought last year . It also included Kwik Sew 4140 for a jacket and I loved both patterns so bought the magazine .
I adore  those 30`s looking tea dresses and this pattern looks very much that style .I have some rust coloured rayon with a small cream floral which I thought would suit but the fabric was given to me from my daughter who bought it in Japan so it is precious . So I made up a muslin with some blue / pink shot fabric given to me by my neighbour but only had enough for a top.


 I had some concerns about the pattern . I obviously chose the version with the gathered cross over front with gathered and pleated short sleeves.  McCalls rates this as  easy but the bottom is cut on the bias and since when has inserting a side zip on the bias been easy. I should have taken a photo but on the pattern cover and in the magazine you can see some serious rippling effect where the zip  is so if the professionals can`t get this right what hope do I have ! Also I am not that busty and have learnt that gathered  below bust fronts can look ridiculous on me .
I read a review where the zip was eliminated and the dress could still be put on and taken off easily enough so I basted the side seams and sure enough I was able to get the top on quite easily and it came off without resorting to contortionist yoga positions and just a little wriggling so that was one concern dealt with.
As predicted the below bust gathers were a bit too much so I made a couple of adjustments by pulling the excess fabric of the upper top down and across and this helped too.
Now some of you may realise the headless photos are not me.
My middle daughter was home from Queensland and I showed her my top and she absolutely loved it .
She tried it on and although it is  looser on her than me , as is the way with younger and slimmer people it looked good and well she loved it and she has less clothes than me so I gave to her  . Sigh . Hopefully I get some brownie points for this.







I have included the hanger shots to get a better idea of the details and also to show the lovely shot effect . The last two photos show the pink side more accurately . It really is quite a  bright shiny fuschia colour and the other side is a dark royal blue . I obviously used the blue since I generally don`t wear very bright and shiny colours. Although I really love this style I think I won`t be making up my Japanese rayon with this pattern and will keep on searching for something else. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Purple Peta Pant Pyjamas .

 Over the years I have made lots and lots of pyjamas . In fact if I had one dollar for every pair I have made I would probably be a hundredollaraire . I have used patterns from Simplicity, Burda , McCalls , Vogue and Grainline . Grainline PJs are only short and the fit is good but most of the others are crazy big . You know pants that look like they come from one of those weight loss pictures with someone fitting both legs into just one and shirts which are long enough to actually be nighties.  So when  I found this lusciously soft Lincraft brand 100 % cotton lawn , 3 metres for $5 from the op shop I knew I wanted to make a new PJ set . However I knew it would be a tight fit to get both pants and a shirt with my usual PJ patterns.
I thought using  the Peta Pants from Style Arc might get me there as I have made these twice before ( neither of which made it onto my blog ) and they are a comfortable fit without being too big and baggy.


I was able to get the PJ set cut by using the 3/4 leg version and the shirt was made from a very old McCalls pattern 2764 . I have made the shirt a couple of times before too , over 10 years ago , and recall this was also nicely sized being comfortable but not too loose but didn`t remember how large the collar was ! I made the dartless version and it includes built in facings so it is relatively easy to sew as are the pants .



On the back of my recent tunic failure ( which has now gone to one of my daughters ) I decided to have a bit of fun making the PJs so I added lots of lace to the  hems and a pocket ,  mauve satin bias binding to prettify the pockets ( which no-one will see ) and mother-of - pearl buttons which I love and were the only ones I had to match anyway. These PJs will replace an older pair of another home made set which looked quite glamorous  but were made using some very nasty polyester which frayed , shredded at the seams and made me feel hot and sweaty . Before I could change my mind about getting rid of them I ripped the elastic out of the pants to use in my new set .
I don`t why I haven`t bought more Style Arc patterns because the two I have have been used multiple times and  I would definitely recommend this pattern for pyjamas and day wear pants . Well it is always good to follow up a failure with some success and my youngest daughter said even she would wear these.
PS I cross stitched the pillow on the chair back in  my teenage years when I knitted, macramed , latch hooked,  embroidered , long stitched , painted and sewed . Ahh the days before internet , work , children , animals and housework !
SO is there  anyone else  who likes sewing PJs as much as me ?

Friday, 11 December 2015

McCalls 4093 - Red Cardigan Replacement.

 .
.When my red merino cardigan finally got one too many holes in it for public viewing I was all set to buy another one. But then I remembered I had this red fabric in my cupboard for at least a few years from the op shop for only 20 cents ! It is lightweight and very slighty scratchy but still soft so it wasn't quite right for a shirt .I thought I would have a go at making a lightweight jacket and no big deal if it didn't work out. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 
I occasionally love to peruse my mother's pattern stash and she had a McCalls wardrobe pattern 4093 which she has had for yonks but never used. I liked the folded back lapels on the front and the split back seam which is a little different .

Because the fabric is lightweight my friend wisely suggested I should add a lining. I had to buy some lining  from the local craft shop which has a very small selection of dress fabrics and luckily they had some closely matching chiffon. I chose to underline the fabric and did hongkong seams especially as they may be in view from the back. The body of the pattern fit quite well but the sleeves were massive. I did realise this when looking at the pattern but went ahead hoping some  Harry Potter magic might occur when I was sewing ( a bit like sewing faster when you are running out if thread hoping that will get you through ! ) When I put the jacket on I thought I was in for a wadder but after taking in about 4 cms from each seam on the sleeves and removing about 10cms off the length it starting looking a bit more hopeful. I used two vintage buttons and my nickyknack loop turner. 
I have since  worn this jacket about three times ( I am behind on blogging as usual ) and I think it is passable - not great but OK for now. I just also want to pass on my thanks to Anne for all her great hints with the loop turner - ironing the seam open after sewing the loop and how to position the turner were great so Thanks Anne !
Happy Sewing everyone. 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

McCalls 2401 - Ponte - A Whole New World.



Bleary eyed photos -I have to grab a photographer when I can and in this case it was quite early in the morning . 

I love experimenting with different fabrics and patterns . I have seen so many ponte dresses and skirts which looked fabulous so I wanted to try sew with this new to me fabric too. I also have read that ponte can pill with only a few wearings/ washings . When I sew I want my clothes to last many many years not just one or two seasons . I have had good luck with fabrics bought from Knitwit in Western Australia so when I received an email about their pontes and saw a patterned one that really appealed to me I bought it ( late last year with my footy tips competition money !) It is the Daniela print and is a rayon blend ponte ( which I read tends to be better quality ) . It is plain black on the inside and a purple /bronze abstract print on the right side ( and still available last time I checked ).


I have never sewed with ponte before so I did some research on what I should be doing . I find Emma one Sock ( link here - http://www.emmaonesock.com/guides/kbponte.asp ) has excellent advice on sewing with fabrics .  Ponte is like double knit but with stretch so apart from using a pattern designed for wovens in all other respects I treated the fabric as a stretch fabric.
I used a ballpoint needle and sewed with a slight zigzag stitch .The website also suggested stabilising the neckline with some light weight stay tape  and the shoulder seams with bias knit interfacing . I used  the  selvedge edge  from  silk for the stay tape as suggested .


The pattern I used  is McCalls 2401- a slim fitting sheath dress  . This is a very popular pattern which has been around for a long time and still also currently available in the pattern catalogues . I eliminated the back zip and used a button/ loop closure . I also made 3/4 sleeves which was easy to adapt from the provided long sleeve pattern . I hand sewed all the hems.


Normally I steer away from form fitting clothes but with the ponte I think it was easier to get a good fit . There is some excess fabric above the bust near the armscye and it feels / looks a little thick with the neckline facing but overall I am pretty happy with the result and will be willing to try more slim fitting clothes if I find more ponte that I like.



Saturday, 23 August 2014

Vintage McCalls 5234 - The Sound of a Snail Eating.

Our last book group book was  ` The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating ` so I thought this was a good excuse as any to finally sew up my snail fabric. You see I bought this fabric in an impulsive moment because the shop was closing down and this was famed Japanese fabric - I had heard  about how terrific it was and I wanted to try some . But really - snails ?!

Crazy looking snail lady. 

My enthusiasm for this project waxed and waned. I was only half hearted to start with because of the somewhat juvenile print - I am an adult woman  - what was I thinking ? ( Mind you I still own and wear a Winnie the Pooh windcheater ) hence why I really needed a reason to sew it up .
But then after I washed the fabric I realised it was double gauze, a fabric I have never sewn before and only seen in Japan so I became excited again. The fabric feels soft but a bit spongy . It washed up well and I had no trouble with the layers coming apart.


I used a vintage pattern McCalls 5234 ( 1976 )  - a carefree pattern and at only 10 cents the pattern was almost free.
I prefer woven shirts with collars in general to knit tops ( but I sew and wear those a lot as well ) but I was a bit bored with my basic button up shirts so I was keen to try  this pattern with yokes and front pockets. And for some weird reason I was quite attracted to the pattern cover art with the over-rouged pouting and grinning models. The only change I made to the pattern was to reduce the size of  the collar - those 70s collars are huge .



Then I found the perfect matching bias binding in my mothers stash ( she must have every colour under the sun ) so I was feeling even more positive. I used the bias binding to create some flat piping to highlight the front yokes and pocket flaps  but I did not execute this very well so I started feeling blah about the project again . But I kept on going because did I mention this fabric is also the second most expensive in my stash - can you believe that ! Then, I started to feel the love again because the fabric is wonderful to sew with and  really from a bit of a distance you can`t tell they are snails and I am quite fond of orange and liked the pale blue contrasting colours. Also I found 5 orange buttons in my stash and if you really stretch your imagination they kind of look like snails as well.



I did finish the  shirt  but the final product does not quite  match what I had in my mind  .Despite that I have worn the shirt several times including to book group and it matches well with my orange cardy which I also sewed ( Butterick 5251 ) . Oh and the  book you ask ? It is written by a woman with a chronic debilitating illness which leaves her bed bound. A friend brings her a snail and she makes a home for it in a terrarium and then watches the snail because there is not much else she can do . However this book  was really  just about snails . I learnt lots of facts about snails that I never knew I needed to know. I almost started to even like the slimy things until the snail in the book goes and has over 600 babies ! Alas there were no snail elimination tips at all.


I am currently sewing a more complex Burda WOF jacket which will take a while but I am excited about . I am going to try catch up with  my sewing bloggy diary and post my other makes . I get bored of seeing the same photo when I log into my blog to look at what everyone is making !

Happy Sewing . Janine.



Wednesday, 25 April 2012

McCalls 6110 - Feminine Feathered Frock Finally.

This dress has been in the making for a LONG time . I normally get a bit tired of projects that go on too long and  I mainly enjoyed the process but I am glad it is over .

This is McCalls 6110 - gathered bodice, racer style back, upper front band and gathered skirts  with a tie . I did not add the apron thingy.
Made of a sheer feather print georgette from Ebay  , bodice interlined with a  very fine cotton bastiste and the skirt portion is lined with sunsilky from Lincraft.
I used a few tips and tricks researched from the internet, Threads and Australian Stitches to make life easier in sewing this slippery fabric.
I pretreated the fabric using unflavoured gelantine - this definitely helped alot in the cutting and sewing . ( you can read my previous post for details about this ).
I used paper underneath the fabric whilst cutting out as well.
I used sharps needles instead of the universal type.
My sewing machine I am currently using has a built in walking foot which I think helped .
I interlined the bodice with bastiste which reduced the slipperiness .

I like this pattern overall although it is very loose fitting - If I make it again I will make the  front narrower . The front is not too low and revealing and the straps and racer back style hide bras. It is a good balance between not being too frumpy or too tarty I suppose( I am a bit old fashioned I admit ). I hope I don`t get in trouble for this but the back also covers up my middle DD`s scars from spinal surgery.
I really like the construction process - the inner seams are completely enclosed so it looks pretty on the inside as well. There is a bit of hand stitching involved but I don`t mind this.
This is the front inside portion.
Inside the back of the dress.
Overall I think this is the nicest garment I have ever sewn. About 98% of this dress could withstand a thorough stickybeak  from other sewists ( my machine rolled hems are a little wonky in one area ) and sewing this gave me great confidence in my skills. If I take the time to do the extra little steps it makes a difference and these extra steps are not hard in themselves - only time consuming.
Normally I like to see clothes on a real person so Daffy the Duck(t) tape model will have to do for now ( She is new by the way - very exciting for me .)

Now I am very sorry to be moribund but I can`t help but write this. It is my nature and my job to reach out and try to  help people. Just over two weeks ago our bestest and dearest friend took his own life. I will never really be able to make sense of this .He had financial problems but they were short term only and not bad enough that he would be bankrupted . We knew he was unhappy and he was receiving help from professionals and his many  family and friends who loved him and supported him  but we did not realise how deeply distressed he was - he did conceal it well. There were some subtle signs but only in retrospect did they become significant and no one person had access to all the  signs to put them together . BTW he was married with three children aged 15 to 20.
So if you are having trouble then reach out and get help and tell someone how you REALLY  feel.
If you know someone having trouble then reach out to them and let them know there is help .
Suicide only makes things worse , not better . Family and friends never recover fully from this and sometimes go on to develop their own problems. Sorry about that.
Take care and cheers . Janine.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

A little ( maxi) black ( patterned ) dress .


Well . a second posting . Miracles never cease around here. Another miracle getting my daughter in the dress and whats more my husband took the shot. I had promised my daughter it would be headless - she is a bit embarrassed. Anyway when I came home from walking the dog I was TOUCHED ALOT that they had thoughtfully done this just for me .
My eldest DD is attending a deb as a viewer /supporter and wanted me to sew her dress from material she had chosen last year from Ebay- there you go , another miracle ! She chose the above pattern McCAlls 6110.
I did like this pattern - the finishing inside is very good - it is lined and matches up very well. Can I tell how fastidious I was in making this dress . However when DD tried it on it was huge - and she did not like it ! So some quick and dirty stitching down ( sob sob - did I tell how beautifully I made this dress ) of the waist band and she was happy. 2 weeks later this quick fix ( which no-one will notice or know about except us ) doesn`t bother me but it did at the time. And she will wear the dress and does seem to love it - so that is the main thing. So if anyone ever reads this and wants to make this dress then make a size a few sizes down that you are used to.

In other sewy news I have finished my mothers skirt and am about to start on her casual jacket/ overblouse to match. I am very pleased with the skirt - the lining did make a big difference to this rather soft material but I dont think the blouse will need this.
Cheers Janine.