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

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.