Monday, February 24, 2014

"Well, Hello There," she said blushing coquettishly...

Warning!! Long Post!!  Grab a cuppa and have a browse!

I've been absent from blogland, but with good reason.  It's been another busy month - I have no idea where it went!  February absolutely flew by.  This month, I've been skiing, in Ottawa for fun to visit my brother, in London for work but also managed to visit my parents (that was a 2100 km week of driving!!  Whew!!), and this coming week I will be absent from blogland again for a few days because of another road trip for work.  I am super happy to report that despite all this travel, I have been sewing!!

I've finished two-thirds of my first three pack of The Blushing Coquette, my Spring 2014 SWAP (post on planning can be seen here).  As a result, I can also offer you a Pattern Review!!

Pattern Review for McCalls  6436

Pattern Description:  According to McCall's website:
MISSES'/WOMEN'S SHIRTS: Loose fitting, front and back darts and front band. A: Epaulets, loops, pockets with stitched pleat and flaps. B: Pockets and flaps. C: Pockets with inverted pleat and flaps. B, C, D: Collar, collar band and pleated two piece sleeve. 

Pattern Sizing: 8-16 with A/B, C, D cup sizes, and 18W-24W, with C/D to DD-DDD cup sizes.  I made the size 16 with D cup fronts.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I made view D with long sleeves and without the pockets.  I think it does look like the pattern photo and line drawings.

Apparently this wrinkles after being tucked in.  My bad for photo styling points
Line Art

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, they were very easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  This is a great pattern for basic shirt or blouse.  I particularly like that I don't have to do the FBA adjustment, it's already done for you!  Another thing I love is the two piece sleeve!  I have gym-sized upper arms (LOL), and my sleeve patterns often need to be adjusted to accommodate this - this pattern doesn't need it.  It also eliminates the continuous lap that is needed to finish a standard vent on a one piece sleeve.

Fabric Used: The pattern recommends lightweight woven fabrics, including crepe de chine, challis, charmeuse and lace.  I used a very light weight polyester satin-backed crepe with the shiny side out.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I did my standard 1/2" sway back adjustment, so I also added a centre back seam to accommodate this.  I lengthened the sleeves by 1" and I shortened the shirt by 4" after trying it on for the first fitting.

Next time, I will cut the front side seam on size smaller as it was a bit too "blousy," and I will shorten the sleeve cap by one size (i.e. cut out the size 14 on the top of the sleeve instead of the 16).  This is to reduce the amount of fabric that needs to be eased into the armhole, and help reduce the inevitable puckering that I experienced with this slippery fabric.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I would definitely sew this again, in fact, I have already cut another shirt/blouse out on the weekend - this time in the same fabric except a grey colourway.

I would also like to draw your attention to the lovely pink skirt that you see on the dressform above.  I finished it this weekend as well.  It is a self-drafted pattern out of a high quality pink polyester crepe that was absolutely lovely to work with.  I hesitate to admit it, but I couldn't find the blush pink wool crepe I had planned on using in my voluminous stash that is threatening to overtake the basement, so I actually bought this fabric last week.  Yeah, it's sort of counter-productive, I know.  Buying fabric because you can't find the stash fabric you know you have because your stash is so big. Ahem. Artistic licence required the blush pink skirt.  So...anyways...back to the details.  It is lined with a Bemberg lining in a similar shade.  It's a knee length tapered pencil skirt with a front pleat detail, and "regular" lapped back zipper closure.  Here's a better view showing the front pleat detail.  I know, I know, the waistband looks a bit sloppy but that is because I have outgrown my dressform.

That just leaves me to finish this jacket in order to complete the first 3 pack...

Another fabulous cellphone pic seen here, unlined and rumpled after being toted around in a sack while looking for the perfect lining and closure options.  I really must get my tripod issue sorted out so I can take better pictures for you!  The jacket is vintage (LOL) of a few years ago before My Great Sewing Hiatus.  I had cut it out, stitched it together and let it sit.  All it needs is the lining and the closures.  The issue now is it is a bit snug, but I think I can rectify that in a couple of ways:  1) by letting out each of the vertical seams a bit, and 2) by possibly using an exposed zipper closure on the front instead of buttons and buttonholes.  I have a few ideas, but it may take a while to track down the right zipper.

I have been really busy with both work and life in general, but I have been finding time to get my sewing "fix" in by leaving my sewing room a bit of a disaster so I can sit down and do the next step right away.  When I'm done, I turn off the machines, shut off the lights and just close the door, leaving everything ready for sewing at the next moment's notice. I'm fortunate enough to be able to do that!  Just today I spent half an hour this morning cutting interfacing and fusing it to my next blouse project (I woke up early), and another 15 minutes stitching the darts.  At lunch, I went home and spent 45 minutes stitching the blouse together, and attaching the front bands.  Not much more sewing in my near least until sewing class starts again on Saturday!

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