Monday, January 13, 2014

Butterick 5526 with McCalls 6035 Sleeve in Liberty Branchflower - orange colourway

I have made two shirts in the last week, both in Liberty lawn because I just love working with it and wearing it; it's lightweight but closely woven (which makes it seem somewhat silky), the designs are beautiful and it's very easy to iron.

In the past I've made several M6436s and I love that pattern for a semi-fitted shirt, but I was looking for a more fitted shirt on this occasion.  I didn't, however, want it too fitted so I chose Butterick B5526, which seemed just perfect.  I wanted a shirt (I suppose this is really a blouse) with short sleeves this time, but there wasn't an option for that in the pattern so I took the short, slightly puffy, sleeves fromMcCalls M6035.  Maybe I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised to find that the frill on the front is a circular ruffle, and not a pleated strip as it seems to appear in the pattern cover illustration.
I made a quick muslin and immediately realised that the bust apex of the princess seams fell too low, but cutting an 8 at the shoulders (and a 10 everywhere else) remedied this perfectly.  I made no other adjustments.  Oh, actually I did cut out four ruffles and sewed each pair together and turned them inside out instead of cutting just two and narrow hemming them.

I have discovered that shirts and blouses are definitely my favourite things to make, especially since I have started using woven interfacing, which actually feels like part of the fabric instead of something stiff and separate.  I love the hand sewing, the precision required when attaching all the pieces, and the way it all comes together to be a wearable work of art!  Also, it means I can wear my jeans but still wear my home made stuff (well, I could wear my jeans if I could fit comfortably into them, ahem).  I have turned forty-eight today, so I'd better get cracking back on my health and fitness regime before it's too late for EVER, hehe!
As I mentioned, I have made another shirt (another McCalls M6436) and I will post it soon.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

McCalls M6833

Happy new year to everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

This is my Christmas dress this time around.  McCalls M6833 view B.  I made it with something that I assume is quilting cotton.  I would never use quilting cotton for a shirt, but for a dress such as this one, it's perfect as it has enough body to hold its shape a bit.

 So that the hem had a little more oomph I sewed some horsehair braid onto it.  It did the trick!  This pattern has an integral net petticoat as part of the dress lining itself.  As I wanted the option to use the petticoat with other garments I chose to line only the top part of the dress and make the petticoat separately, which worked really well.

As usual I hand sewed the zip in, as I like a bit more control over matching the waist seams and making sure the back neck edges match, which I find a little more difficult when machining the zip in.

I love all the hand sewing!  I find inserting the zip and then hand sewing the lining to it very satisfying.

I will definitely be making view D in the future. I already have the fabric:

There is only one thing I will change for the next version and that is that the neckline will have to be higher.  I'm not a particularly modest dresser but this neckline is about as low as it gets.  In all of the rest of my Christmas photos my underwear is clearly on show!  That's okay for a party dress but I intend for my next version to be more wearable.