Saturday, December 29, 2012

Poochy Failure (McCalls 6399)

Cute Neckline; Not so cute waistline
Looks like I'm pregnant!

This top was such a disappointment. I thought it would be a nice wardrobe basic with the pleats adding a little sassiness. Instead, the pleats at the waist (front and back) were the downfall of this design. The neckline pleats were very cute and I love the whole shape of the neckline. If I was clever enough, I would incorporate the neckline including pleats into another top. But I'm not, so this pattern will go in the trash.

Pattern Description: MISSES' TOPS: Fitted, stitched pleats, optional invisible zipper, shoulder pads. This is a Palmer Pletsch pattern.

SUGGESTED FABRICS: Crepe De Chine, Silk Rayons, Challis, Silk Crepes, Jersey, Cotton Knits.

Pattern Sizing: Misses 8-22. I made a size 10 from shoulder to just below armhole, tapering to a 12-14 at hips.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No. The pooching at the stomach and back are not evident in the photos and drawings. My stomach is relatively flat but the top makes me look like I have a huge tummy. No thank you!

I made View D

Link to Pattern

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, although I stopped before the back and sleeve facing construction which the pattern author describes as "unusual".

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes: I LOVE the neckline. The pleats at the upper sleeve / neckline are very attractive.

My favorite thing about this pattern is all the fitting tips (similar to other Palmer / Pletsch patterns.) I noticed there was an alteration for "Broad Back". I am embarrassed to admit this but I didn't know there was just a thing. As soon as I saw it, it was a "DOH!" moment (said in my best Homer Simpson voice.) I have often had fitting issues with my tops - when the front fits, the back is tight and vice versa. I always thought it was because I have a small bust. But instead, the fitting issues are caused by my back. And to make this even funnier, my mom is visiting and I asked her to take these photos to post. As soon as I turned for the back shot, she said, "I never realized you have the 'McHugh' (her family name) broad back." I about died laughing. Only took me 49 years but at least I know now.

Dislikes: The pleats at the waist are very UNflattering from the front and even more so from the back.

I also had some trouble with the sleeves twisting around. Not sure if I cut them off grain or if the pattern design is flawed. I was cutting single layer so I thought I stayed on grain but maybe not.

Sleeve Detail
Fabric Used: Stretch satin from Hancock. Although the shiny satin side would typically be the right side, I didn't want a shiny top so I used the matte side for the right side. Even though it's poly, I really liked this fabric and may try to buy some more for a different project.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Skipped the zipper, wasn't necessary. I also made a broad back adjustment to fit my body. I only got as far as pinning up the sleeves but they were very long on me. I usually need to shorten sleeves a bit (1/2-1") but I needed to shorten by 2 1/2" with 1" hem to get the right hem length as shown in the photo (i.e. as shown, it's folded 3 1/2".)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No and absolutely not.

Conclusion: I should have listened to the other reviewers. This is just a bad design. But the silver lining is that I learned a valuable fitting tip that will help me on future projects.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Blessings of Life

We interrupt this sewing blog for a photo of the cutest baby EVAH! May I introduce to you, my grandson Brady, born on Tuesday, December 11, 2012.
I am in love....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Glittery Holiday Skirt (B5466)

I have found the PERFECT pencil skirt pattern for me. Butterick 5466 will now be my go-to skirt pattern. I had planned to make a brocade skirt for the holidays and found a BEAUTIFUL purple copper fabric at Mood (online). Unfortunately, after I ordered it, they called me to say they couldn't locate it in the warehouse. BOOOOOOO HISSSSSSS!! I was so bummed. I still haven't found a replacement brocade that I like as much but I did find an interesting fabric at JoAnn's that I thought would make a nice holiday skirt. Yes, I said JoAnn's and furthermore, the fabric is an upholstery fabric I found in the clearance section ($8, thank you very much).

Not much to say about this pattern. The instructions seem clear enough although the pattern doesn't call for a lining so I just did my thing. I chose the no-waistband version, View A, since the fabric is stiff / bulky and I didn't want any more fabric than absolutely necessary. I lined it in a black silky (probably poly) fabric.

I fluctuate between 12 and 14 around the middle but this one fit perfectly using a straight 14 at waist and hips. I shortened the fabric cutting line by 1.5" and still did a 2.5" hem. I shortened the lining cutting line by 3.25" and hemmed 2". As you can see, the skirt hits me right above the knee.

Pictures are not too good for this. It is hard enough to capture the glimmer but especially hard in artificial light. I did pick up an inexpensive brocade at Hancock with which I may make a second version since I like the look so much.

I wanted a simple black top to go with this version and will blog about that project in a subsequent post.