McCall’s 6886 – Sweater Knit Dress

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During the Holidays I went through my fabric stash in an attempt to do some organizing. I came across this sweater knit that I purchased three years ago and thought of McCall’s 6886 right away. The issue was that I only had 1.5 yards of this fabric. In order to achieve a length that would be wearable, I had to cut a band to add to the bottom of the dress. I like the way that turned out.

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This is a VERY popular pattern. There are currently 136 reviews on sewingpatternreview.com. It also made the Best Patterns of 2015 list on their website.

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The pattern calls for simply turning the neckline under and stitching. I normally choose to add binding instead but in this case I followed the instructions. I used my coverstitch machine to topstitch the neckline in place. I also lined the dress with tricot. It was either that or wear it with a slip.

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This is one of the most versatile patterns I’ve come across in a few years. I have more fabric lined up for variations of this dress. It is a great pattern to use as base for other designs.

We’ve had some much needed rain here on the Central Coast of California. As you can see in the pictures, things are looking a little greener around here.

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Other dresses I’ve sewn with McCall’s 6886:

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Vogue 8945 – Holiday Dress

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I bought this Vogue pattern when it was introduced. I could not resist those sleeves. I did not have any fabric in mind but I knew the right fabric would inspire me at some point. While planning my Holiday outfits I came across this velour that had been in my stash for a few years. I immediately thought of this pattern. I chose to use silk chiffon for the underlayers of the sleeves.

The pattern describes the dress as semi-fitted. Normally I would have taken the sides in to make the dress a little more fitted. We were going to be having a seven course meal so I figured the more forgiving silhouette would be preferable.

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The back has darts that create some nice shaping. I chose to omit the center back zipper because my fabric has plenty of stretch. I also lined the dress with swimsuit lining.  The velour did not have much body so the lining added some stability.

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Those sleeves!

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As 2016 comes to a close here on the West Coast, I wish you all a New Year filled with good cheer and happiness and of course many sewing successes!
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Style Arc Melinda Knit Tunic

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I love the Holidays! My fashion photographer and I are fortunate to have time off work. Our time seems to fill up with family, friends and activities we normally don’t have an opportunity to do.  I have enough experience to know not to plan on sewing very much during this time.

Because my sewing fingers get itchy as the days go by, I like to have a simple project cut out and ready to sew.

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This year I chose to sew the Melinda Knit Tunic from Style Arc. I had 1.5 yards of wool jersey from Fabric Mart in my stash that I thought would do well for this top. The wool jersey was nice to work with and I’m happy with the result.

The shoulder seam on my version does not “drop” as much as the one pictured on the pattern. I was also perplexed by the length of the sleeves. The pattern piece is for a longer sleeve than what is pictured. I cut two inches off of the bottom of the sleeve to achieve the length I wanted.

The pattern has a vertical seam at the bottom back. I chose to omit this and cut the piece on the fold. I included a picture of the back of my top. I never like pictures of me from the back but this is a sewing blog so if I’m going to mention something I should probably show you what it looks like.

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I like the bateau neckline very much. It is cleverly designed to give a nice clean finish. Interfacing the neckline piece is optional. I chose to use a lightweight knit interfacing and I’m glad I did. The neckline feels good and is not droopy or wavy as some other bateau necklines I’ve made.

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Burda Style 12-2012-126 – Holiday Sparkle

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My Mom found this sparkly fabric while shopping with me at Tissus Mode De L’Orme last summer. I always enjoy my Mom’s input when shopping. She has a great eye for finding interesting fabrics. Before having children my Mom made most of her clothes. She was known for choosing the perfect fabric for a pattern. She has not lost the knack over time. Growing up, my Mom made most of our clothes. Everything she made was wonderful and never looked homemade. I remember singing in the Christmas choir one year with my sisters as we wore our holiday maxi dresses. I felt very special in that dress. These days I make my own holiday outfits. I enjoy being holiday party-ready with an assortment of outfits that sparkle in my closet.

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Burda refers to this top as having a “deep V”. They are not exaggerating. No amount of taping or pinning would have made this comfortable to wear. I opted to wear a camisole under my top. I normally avoid a camisole but in this case I’m very happy with the combination of the camisole and top.12-2012-126-line-drawing

The fabric is a lightweight knit. It was a remnant that measured a little more than 1 yard so I was limited in what I could sew. This pattern requires 1 yard (60″wide) for size 34. The top is simple to sew (and trace). The patterns calls for an invisible side zipper. In hindsight it wasn’t necessary. I don’t use the zipper. The combination of knit fabric and wide open neckline make the top easy to put on and take off without using the zipper.

Here I am competing for attention with our friend’s Christmas tree 🙂

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The picture below is a good shot of the top, not such a good one of me. I think I look like a “Bobble Head” in this picture. It was one of the first ones my fashion photographer took while I ran around between the guests trying to get festive shots of my top. He had not adjusted the camera yet so my head looks disproportionately large.

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Naughty Bobbin Patterns – Presto Popover Top

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For me this time of year calls for an easy project that gives me a sense of sewing satisfaction. I’ve had this pattern in my stash ever since it was introduced. My closet can always use new tops so I decided it was time to whip up a Presto Popover top. The name makes it sound like a fun project. I’m here to tell you that it is. I was so pleased with my first top that I couldn’t stop at just one.

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This pattern was designed with ITY or similar knits in mind. Because the front is doubled it would be a great pattern for a thin or burnout knit. The black and white floral pictured above is an ITY knit that is on the thin side. I like the way the neck drapes. You can see that the top shown below is a thicker ITY knit and the collar doesn’t drape in the same way. I like that you can achieve different looks depending on the weight of your fabric.

There is a front middle seam on this top. If you have a print that needs matching, Naughty Bobbin Patterns offers a tutorial on how to make a medallion print Presto. Figuring out how to attach the neck to the back caused me a bit of head scratching, but once a fellow sewist sent me pictures of the inside of her finished top I was good to go. The pattern is very well explained but I was having trouble visualizing that step.  I’ve included pictures of the “insides” of my top at the bottom of this post.

Construction of this top is clever and yields a nice clean finish on the inside. This pattern takes about two hours to make from the time you cut it out until it is completed.

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The blue top shown below is made with a wool jersey. I like the way you can fold the collar on this version. There will be many many more Presto Popover tops in my closet. It is a stylish basic top that is fun to sew.

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Inside front: You have the opportunity to adjust the depth of the V-Neck while sewing the center front seam.

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Inside back: Notice the clean finish where the neck is attached to the back. Sewing it reminded me of the burrito method used in other patterns I’ve sewn.

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This photo shows off my label. I ordered labels from The Dutch Label Shop about six months ago. Here is why they look the way they do:

  • Pink: Because it is my favorite color.
  • Hearts: Because I love to sew.
  • A La Mode: Translates to fashionable in French. I’m from Quebec and studied Fashion Merchandising in college so I thought that captured a part of my life.
  • Moore Mary font: It is the font used for the Mary Tyler Moore show. My favorite show because I wanted to be her. I would have been torn if they had also offered the font for That Girl.
  • Montreal – San Francisco: I grew up near Montreal and now I live near San Francisco.

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Style Arc – Lea Knit Wrap Dress

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I like wearing wrap dresses. They make me feel feminine and put-together. My most recent wrap dress is the Lea Knit Dress from Style Arc patterns. After seeing some beautiful versions of this dress on PatternReview.com I wanted to give the pattern a try.  I’m very glad I did because I love the shape and fit of this dress.

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The result is not without some modifications. After reading a few reviews about this pattern.  I widened the skirt facing to 3 inches. The facing is drafted at  1 inch. The extra width is just enough so when I’m walking the underside of the fabric does not show. I think it also gives the edge of the skirt a little more weight and helps it “fall” in place. The picture below shows the widened skirt facing with the tie belt application. I altered the placement of the ties because I widened the facing. I shortened the right tie to 22 inches because I did not want to wrap the ties all the way around my waist. My fabric (described as a techno knit) had enough body that I liked the sleek look of the front without the wrap-around ties. I also added 1 inch to the length of the dress and lengthened the sleeves to be 3/4 length.

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The neckline is very low. I raised it about a 1/2 inch but plan on raising it a bit more for the next one.  I have fashion tape in the pictures making sure that everything stays in place. I made the dress appropriate for work by wearing it with a black camisole.

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Whenever I’m sewing a knit collar with a stand I always interface both pieces of the collar and stand. I like the extra body provided by the double layer of interfacing.

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The pattern is very well drafted and even with its minimal directions comes together without any issues. For now I’ve found my new favorite wrap dress and am picturing many more dresses from this pattern in my closet.

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Burda 6847 – Double-Knit Jacket

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Living on the Central Coast of California requires dressing in layers. I’ve never been good at layering my clothes. I come from the South Eastern part of Quebec where I might have to carry a cardigan or wear a warmer coat depending on the time of the year. I never had to deal with a difference of 35 degrees Fahrenheit within one hour while driving from San Jose to a friend’s house along the coast in Santa Cruz in the middle of the day.  I have trouble wrapping my head around experiencing dense fog and sunshine within a short distance. People around here are pros at layering. They have all kinds of jackets that they seem to whip out at a moment’s notice. I’m trying to remedy the situation by sewing more jackets. I’ve had Burda 6847 on my list to sew for a couple of years.

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I bought this printed double-knit at Tissus Mode de l’Orme in Granby, QC a couple of years ago with this jacket in mind.  I used a ponte knit from my stash for the collar and facing.

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I lengthened the jacket by 2″. I’m 5’7″ and I wanted to be able to wear this with some of my longer tops. The pattern calls for a 30″ two-way separating zipper. I ordered a custom 32″zipper from JN Zipper. Their customer service is excellent.

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I like the princess seams. I think they give the jacket a great shape.

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Last weekend my fashion photographer, aka my husband, and I attended a wine event at a local winery. I wore a knit tunic (Vogue 8950) and leggings (Papercut Patterns Ooh La Leggings). The weather was too warm for a jacket but I brought it along to take pictures for my blog. I received compliments on my tunic. This happens fairly often. I normally just say thank you but when I’m with my husband I cringe while waiting for him to tell the person that I made whatever piece of clothing that is receiving attention. Over the years I’ve told him not to mention to people that I sew my clothes. He generally respects my wishes but sometimes he just can’t help himself. I can tell that it is difficult for him to keep “our secret”.  He is proud of my accomplishments and feels the need to share with everyone. I was wondering if I was the only sewist who selectively tells people she sews her clothes. I would love to hear what other sewists do when faced with people complimenting their me-mades. Do you simply say thank you or do you mention that you made what you are wearing?

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