July 29, 2012

An actual finished sewing project--imagine that!

Yes, my friends, it hasn't been all wedding planning here....yet. I'm allowing myself the rest of the summer to wrap up as many in-progress things as I can before tackling The Dress, since I can't do much anyway before I settle on some patterns. I did order a bunch of swatches, though, since only having Joann's around + wanting to avoid a polyester dress if at all possible = can't shop locally.

Surprising realization of the week #1: I never shopped much from Mood, because I thought they were super-expensive on everything. Which they can be. But for things like silk shantung, they are surprisingly affordable. At least compared to most of the other places I looked.

Surprising realization of the week #2: It is shockingly hard to find just plain white silk fabric. Everything is off-white, or ivory, or bone. Given that a lot of wedding dresses are white, you'd think it would be easier!! (Side note: I'd happily go with ivory, if my lace wasn't obviously white. It looks weird if I layer that over ivory--I tried it on the Dharma Trading Co. swatches.)

But enough of that. The point of this post is that I actually finished sewing one thing. So it's pattern review time.

Pattern: McCall's 6031 (Side note: seems I can never get a pattern review up here before it goes on clearance/out of print!)

Description: Knit top with elastic empire waist, self-faced bodice & cap sleeves, and cowl neckline.

Pattern sizing: 4-12. I made the 12, and was wondering the whole time if I should have bought the next pattern size up, but it turned out fine.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, except for the part where I thought I was being all smart about coming up with a better way to get the cowl neck in, since I was partially constructing on the serger, only to find that I'd backed myself into a corner for the cap sleeve insertion. I'm not entirely sorry I did it this way, because the serging on the cowl would have been all exposed and probably not so great-looking if I'd followed the instructions. But it really did make putting the sleeves in much, much harder!


What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? While elastic often isn't my favorite treatment, in this top it's comfortable and makes it easy to get the empire waist fitted without putting too much strain on the stitching when I pull it on. I do wish the cowl had been drafted a bit differently--perhaps with more flare towards the outer edge. It's hard to keep the seam line from being exposed when I wear it, and I'd prefer it to cover. (See picture.)


Fabric used: A hemp rayon from Fabric.com, which was the second piece of fabric I was gifted for my birthday this past year to make this dress. Unfortunately, the selvedges must have been off when it was being cut, because once I got that lying flat, it was so crooked on the edges that I lost that extra 1/4 yard that I would have needed to make that particular pattern. 

It's very comfortable to wear, but I am a little concerned about the color durability--I finished this up on Tuesday and wore it for the first time this past Thursday to go see a minor league baseball game with a bunch of friends. (More so for the social time than to watch the game, since I've never particularly been a fan of baseball. It bores me.) The game got called about halfway through the third inning because this massive thunderstorm rolled into the area. So after nearly an hour of waiting it out under the awning and realizing it wasn't going to let up, we decided to go to a nearby brewery/restaurant instead, which is where my fiance kindly took that top picture for me. It was also there that I discovered that where my shirt had gotten wet during the mad dash to the car, there were actually lighter spots. Which is what concerns me, because usually fabric gets darker when it's wet, you know? It's hard to tell in the current lighting, since it's rather overcast, but it looks like the blotchiness where it got wet hasn't entirely gone away, either. I'm also confused, because it's not like I didn't prewash it! I'm hoping it's not too terribly noticeable, or that it won't get worse with continued wear.


Please excuse the wrinkles, need to wash
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Aside from the aforementioned cowl/sleeve thing, I did change the seam allowance between the bodice and the elastic casing to 1/4", as a sort of last-minute cheater's FBA. Everything seems to be sitting where it's supposed to, so I guess it worked out this time.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Maybe I'd sew the view with the pleated neckline. I like the design of this particular view, so I'd possibly sew it again as a print, but with an altered cowl neckline. But I wouldn't sew the other views with the front gathering, because I don't think that's a particularly flattering look on me. The one exception might be waaaaaaaay down the road here if I had to think about maternity wear. (One of the odd things about being engaged-- now I have to consider that possibility in a few years!) As for recommending, it's kind of a moot point since McCall's is clearing this pattern out anyway, but it could be a good look for a teenager or someone in their 20s. And hopefully early 30s, since that's where I'm at.

One final note about this top: I'm calling it my Engagement Shirt, because even though I didn't finish it that day, I did start sewing it together on the day I got engaged! 

I got some other things done on Tuesday, too, since it's getting to the slower part of the year at my retail job and I got that day randomly off, other than the couple of lessons I had to teach later. Since most of my weekend time lately has been lost to social commitments and early-stage wedding planning, is it bad that I'm hoping I keep getting these random weekdays off to sew?

4 comments:

  1. I think it looks great on you and I hope it is colorfast and doesn't fade too quickly!

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  2. That is a gorgeous top! and I love the fabric. I'll bet it feels lovely against the skin :)
    I've heard of soaking lace in tea to stain it from white to ivory, could this be an option? Different teas lead to slightly different shades of ivory... but you may have your heart set on white, so it's just a thought!

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  3. I love teal on you. The shape of the top is flattering and interesting.

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  4. Love this one! Pretty color and style on you.

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