Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A dress win! McCalls 6884

I recently did an audit of my patterns (see here) and was disturbed by how many of them were dresses.  The upshot is, I own about 20% dress patterns when I would probably wear them less than 5% of the time.  I also discovered I make more dresses than other things, despite them not ever really making me feel comfortable.

So, of course my most recent finish is a dress (argh!).  This is McCalls 6884 in Robert Kaufman Laguna Knit Jersey and was a kit from Craftsy.


Sorry for the terrible lighting - it was a rush job on a cloudy day before work..Also - what am I looking at??

I have to say I like this dress.  I believe it to be more flattering than it looks here (though perhaps I have made the crossover a little too high, given I am likely to wear a cami underneath anyway).


Overall the dress is pretty comfortable and I like the length of the sleeves.

The pattern was pretty straightforward to make up, though I didn't like the way the wrap at the front was handled.  I came very close to stretching the neckline beyond saving because I kept having to frick about with it.  I also had to take a fair bit (like several inches each side!) off the side seams from the waist down - they were expecting a very different hip and thigh profile to mine for the size!

A quick look at the model in the dress confirms for me that they are expecting this to be quite plunging at the neckline.


Just looking at this and realising I like the length of her sleeves better.  Why didn't I make that?

Am also thinking I wish I had made view C, where the tie doesn't wrap around the body (see below).  Maybe I can work out how to tie it differently so it doesn't wrap around the front...




Not much else to say on this - it was quick to sew and the fabric is really soft and has reasonable recovery for jersey.  I am likely to wear it to work and feel pretty good, though it's not knocking my socks off (the tie gets a bit annoying).  It's pretty exciting to have another dress win in my arsenal, though I really want to stop sewing things I won't wear so much and get on with some pants!!!

I leave you with a delightful picture of me in the dress which should have been an out-take.  Whatever just happened I am seriously underwhelmed...!!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Onyx Shirt from Paprika Patterns (Pattern Test)

I put my hand up to test for Paprika Patterns a while back.  I had a great experience with making the Jasper sweater and it's getting a lot of use now the weather her in Sydney has chilled down a bit.

Their newest pattern is the Onyx Shirt, which is designed for lightweight to medium wovens.  There are a number of variations between sleeves, necklines and cuffs, as you can see from the line drawings below:


I made two versions, both with the scoped neckline shown on view B and both with sleeves.  They both have a hi-lo hem, which is more exaggerated on the crop version than the longer version.  While a crop top isn't usually my thing, I thought I might try this out:



I used a thinish woven of unknown composition acquired from Spotlight some years back.   I think it actually has a small amount of stretch but not much.    I lengthened this top by about 2 inches and think it was 0.5 inches (or maybe a full inch) too much.


Excuse the terrible pressing job on this and the awkward pose - I was trying to show the hi-lo hem...

I actually don't mind the crop version on me, which was a surprise as it wouldn't be my usual comfort-zone!  I am unlikely to wear it without a vest under, but as it's winter here that's no huge deal.  I need to make some high waisted pants or a skirt to see whether I would wear it a lot I think.



I did also wonder about fitting it in under the bust and adding a closure (invisible zip) at the side seam - this might make it more flattering.  My husband also suggested that it felt like "it should actually be a short jacket" but I suspect that was more due to the lack of drape in my chosen fabric...

My second version was View A, with the neckline of View B:



I used a fairly sheer printed chiffon-type fabric for this (again, Spotlight many years ago) with a kind of chevron pattern on it.  This has so much more drape than the other version and I like it and wear it a lot.


It has all the comfort and ease of a drapey jersey t-shirt, but looks just a bit smarter - enough that I wear it to work all the time.  I didn't add the button cuffs - only really because I liked the clean line of the cuff with the pattern going the other way on it.  I usually love a button cuff sleeve so it was a surprise that I didn't end up adding them,



I again added some length to this one, and again I feel I added just a little bit too much.

Not much else to report on these.  I liked the neckline treatment - it was pretty easy to get it to lie nice and flat on both versions I made.  Those drag lines aren't usually there when I am moving around either :)


I also liked the boxy shape and the hi-lo hem, though as mentioned I think I added a little bit too much length.  I used french seams throughout as this was super-prone to fraying.

Both versions were a very quick sew and as mentioned in other posts, I like the sizing approach that they take in their patterns (there is a little flow chart to guide you towards the best approach if you don't exactly match the size measurements).

While the jury is still out on whether I will wear View B much, I suspect I will be making more of View A - nice and quick, not a huge fabric hog and looks smart or casual depending on what you wear with it:  that's a winner!!!