Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mad Plaid Shirt Dress - McCall's 6885

Pattern: McCall's 6885 (2014)

Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, pullover dress with collar, collar/front band, front pleat, pockets, tie ends, and rolled sleeves with button tab.

Pattern Sizing: Size B5 (8-10-12-14-16) View D. I cut out a size 12 bodice, sleeves, and a size 14 from the waist down.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were. I was initially worried about the front placket but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be. Everything else was pretty self explanatory.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the casual feel of the dress, how you can just throw it on and be well dressed.


Fabric Used: 2 3/4" yd Plaiditudes Brushed Cotton in Blue, Green and Brown, $4.99 per yard from Jo-Ann Fabrics; Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Green #748 and Deep Turquoise #630; Gutermann topstitching thread in Cranberry #435; four 5/8” buttons from La Mode in red #4359 and two 5/8” teal buttons from my late mother’s stash.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made?: The only difference is that I decided to eliminate the shirt-tail hem and just take it straight across.

The instructions called for interfacing in the placket, tabs, and collar. I put together the tabs first without interfacing and liked the thickness. I did choose to use it on the front placket because it would be buttoned and unbuttoned continuously. However, I decided to cut new pieces after realizing the fused fabric would be too stiff to turn them inside out, despite it being a light knit interfacing.

The placket instructions were simple and clear. The only problem I had was my own fault. The plaid on the placket piece did not match or complement the front of the dress. I totally missed the fact that I needed to add plaid match lines to that pattern piece too. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough fabric to reposition the piece or cut it on the bias so it looks a bit weird and interrupts the matched plaid that I do have from the front pattern piece. I did however; remember to cut the front breast pockets on the bias.

The biggest problem I had with this project is how easily this fabric distorted and the plaid would get off grain visually. I had to sew the pockets on twice despite having already basted them in place first. Because of the aforementioned problems with the plaid and distortion I chose not to use the red topstitching thread on the placket and pockets which would have highlighted the irregularities.

I was quickly moving along on this project until I noticed that the sleeves looked a bit narrow. Trying on a basted sleeve confirmed my fear... it WAS! Even using a 3/8" seam allowance, it was snug for normal arm movements and definitely tight if the sleeves were rolled up to use the tabs. I was not excited about creating a sleeveless flannel dress for winter. In addition, after noticing how the fabric frayed easily, I took apart the sleeves and completed them in tiny French seams.

Update: As it turns out, the sleeve width will be fine as long as I don’t layer the dress over another top (like I originally wanted). When I wore it Christmas day, I left the sleeves full-length instead.

The fraying fabric inspired me to create flat-fell seams at the shoulders and side seams as a way to extend the life of the dress and make the interior attractive.

Flat fell seams at shoulder and side seams
There was also a bit of hand-sewing (which I love!) included in this project, the inner seam of the collar, the plackets, and the sleeve and skirt hems.

Forgive the wrinkles!
Buttonholes scare me! I’ve avoided putting them in project for years and with this one, I didn’t even cut them open when I wore it the first time. I sewed the bottom two buttons on top of the buttonholes and left the top two open. I also didn’t cut open the sleeve tab buttonholes either. If I can avoid ever cutting them open I will.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I may, only if I use a solid fabric, and I would go up one size for the sleeve pattern piece.

Perfectly accessorized with a earlier handmade cowl. 

Conclusion: I was immediately attracted to this view when I first saw this pattern but I didn't think of making it in a plaid flannel until I saw this shirtdress by Grainline Studio and became obsessed. Now, I have my own because of the power to make your own clothes!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Bit By Bit...Piece By Piece...

putting it together *

McCall's 6885

Having no time to do any intensive sewing, like on that front placket, I have been completing the little pieces...one at a time. I now have the waist ties, pockets, and sleeve tabs together, stitched, and pressed. Now moving on to the sleeves and collar...

Dec. 11 update:

2:00 pm

Hurray! Placket is stitched onto front but there is some handsewing to do on the back and then some topstitching on the front. Topstitched the pockets and sleeve tabs. In process of putting together non-interfaced collar and band now. It's starting to come together!

5:30 pm

Handsewing of plackets done, bottom of placket stitched, and front pleat in position.

10:00 pm

Stopping for the night with collar and band stitched together, edgestitched, and pockets basted in position.

Dec. 18 Update!

Looks just like the sketch above! It only needs buttonholes (five in all) and the hem. Hurrah!
*"Putting It Together" by Stephen Sondheim

Friday, December 05, 2014

Sewing Plans...They Never End, Do They?

Yes, a new wardrobe plan! The projects that I didn't finish last winter/spring have migrated to this new grouping along with two new projects. Happily, the most practical (and boring) one is already done, the work-related button-down shirt.

Now, I will be consecutively working on the shift dress (once I get a handle on the fitting issues!) and the plaid shirtdress. I spent yesterday cutting out the plaid and I'm hoping the shirtdress can be worn in a few weeks for the holidays. The pants will be the next priority along with finishing the ponte knit dress. The duster will again be shunted to 2015 and early spring.

Received my xmas gift from my Dad early, and yes, another statement necklace and earrings, these are of resin and from Macy's Style & co. line. Funny, it's been years since I had new earrings too. I have been wearing the same moonstone pair everyday.

http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/style-co-necklace-brown-resin-necklace?ID=688597&CategoryID=55285&zone=PDP_ZONE_A&choiceId=cidA40011-d793fd11-9a87-4336-a85d-a8d66796be13@H7@Customers Also Shopped$55285$688597&LinkType=PDPZ1_Pos1 http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/style-co-earrings-brown-resin-earrings?ID=688595&CategoryID=55285&zone=PDP_ZONE_A&choiceId=cidA40011-22d001ff-527f-46c8-a2cb-9c32d21e5804@H7@Customers Also Shopped$55285$688595&LinkType=PDPZ1_Pos1