Tuesday, 17 February 2015

McCalls 6319 Dress Times Two

Another repeat of a favourite pattern.  I have a trip to Australia coming up to see friends and family and I wanted to make some new things for it.  Although it looks like it is going to be warmer in Hong Kong than Aus so I might get more wear out of the cardigan from my last post than these dresses - oh well at least I am getting a head start for summer!

I've made this dress twice before so there isn't a lot more to say.  It is an easy pattern and again I made view A (the white one on the pattern envelope) even easier by leaving off the shoulder zipper and not lining the bodice.  I like the zip detail, I can just never find a nice one in the right length, but even if I added it I don't think I would make it functional, this dress goes on over the head easily.

My last version used a border print so I had to modify the skirt to keep a straight hem, but for these versions I went with the original pattern.  These are size 12, with 3cm length added to the bodice at the shorten/lengthen lines marked on the pattern as it seems a bit short otherwise to get the blousing effect shown.

This version is in a snakeprint jersey which I found at the street market in Sham Shui Po.  It has an ombre effect from pale grey at the top through beige and into a darker brown that is a bit difficult to see in the dressform photos.

This second version is in a very loud swirly print that a friend got me from the fabric market in Shanghai. The fabric is on the thin side so I lined the skirt in a very lightweight sheer knit, it's just enough to make sure the skirt isn't see through (I think and hope!).  I had a go at keeping the pattern broadly matched across the waist seam, more successfully in the back than the front.

I already know that these will get worn a lot, the style and prints make these two really versatile and easy to dress up or down.  This is a knit dress that can easily be made in a few hours, I really recommend it and I'm sure these won't be my last.

Friday, 13 February 2015

McCall's 6844 Cardigan / Jacket

I recently started getting adverts coming into my gmail account along with a message that I could go into my account settings to change them.  When I went into my profile, where I had only input the bare minimum of details, I saw that "based on the websites that I visit" they have decided I am in the over 65's age group!  Well thank you google!  I find it kind of hilarious and also a bit sad that sewing is still stereotyped that way, but I figure over 65's get sent less email adverts than the over 40's so I'm leaving my profile unchanged.


I've previously made view C of this deservedly popular pattern and this time tried out view B, the longer length straight version.

I used a hefty doubleknit for this, slightly unsure how it would work out to be honest, but I love the end result which looks like a blazer, but has all the practical advantages of a jersey cardigan. Plus it is so much quicker and easier to sew than a blazer, I made this in an evening (and I am no speedy sewer).

While flitting around the internet (looking at sites suited to 65+ ladies naturally!) I found this similar looking Donna Karan jacket made from a stretch linen blend (and costing 1,335 pounds, though that does include the leather belt!).

Again I made the small size, although I did add a little extra to the side seams below the waist and also to the width of the arms as my heavy fabric has less stretch.  I had a bit of fabric left over so I made a tie belt in case I want to go with a different, more casual look and of course there is the Donna Karan option of a proper belt.

I have one small tip to share - often when I am sewing a corner I do not trim off the seam allowances, but instead press them in the shape of the corner, then hold them with my fingers as I turn the fabric right side out.  The seam allowances kind of fill the shape of the corner and I get a much better result than trimming.  The photos below show this on bottom edge of the neckband.

I often wear a blazer jacket with jeans, either dressed up with a dressy top or dressed down with a tshirt and I think this knit jacket is going to be a favourite, I'll definitely be looking out for more jersey like this so I can make it in more colours.  Colours that are easier to take photos of.  I've had to really adjust the exposure in these so you can see the jacket which has done weird things to my skin, don't worry I am ok!


With tie belt

With leather belt