Saturday, May 13, 2017

Another McCall 7542

Even though the contest is over, I still wanted to complete another version of this awesome pattern. This time, I made View A which has an exaggerated tulip sleeve, which I love! My hubby and I are heading out on a cruise in June and I wanted something fun and tropical for the occasion, so I chose a tropical shirting from Joann's and accented with a berry colored cotton covered piping I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I have also been participating somewhat in Me Made May by posting pics of things I have made for myself and I wanted to add something to that.

 I started cutting this out in my usual place, my kitchen. I am still waiting for my children to abandon a bedroom in order to have a sewing room. Eventually I guess.  My kitchen has been getting a lot of sewing time lately. My daughter has been sewing for her Disney trip to add to her Disney Bound wardrobe, I have been sewing when ever I have a spare minute, and my kitchen shows the signs.

Lots and lots of bits of fabric and thread all over the floor.

My kitchen table hasn't been eaten on in several weeks. LOL

The construction of this blouse went a little faster since I have made the basic shell portion previously. (See my previous post about this pattern.) The only difference on this one is that instead of lining it, I used the neckline facing. Since I wasn't adding a lining I did serge the edges of this blouse as well. Most of the pieces and seams I serged after construction. But for the sleeves I decided to serge the edges before I attached them since I was adding piping to the edges of the sleeve, and because it is a tulip sleeve which meant I would not have access to all seams after attaching them.

 To add the piping to the sleeves, I matched the unfinished edge of the piping with the serged edge of the sleeve. I then stitched very closely to the piping to make sure that it was a very close seam.
By sewing it in this way I ended up with what I felt is a more finished look to the sleeve.
This is prior to stitching, piping pinned in place, to show the effect I was going for.

This is after stitching showing how close the stitching is and the finished look.
This is me picking out the seam after I tried attaching it in a different manner and not liking the finished look.

 After attaching the piping I lapped the petals of the sleeve to get the tulip look that this view calls for. I love it because it is so cute and flirty. Keep in mind that basting is important when lapping the petals to keep them in place when you ease stitch and then when attaching.

The lapped petals creating the exaggerated tulip. So cute!

With the sleeves all constructed I attached them to the bodice portion of the blouse. It was so easy. With the sleeves attached I went ahead and tacked the facing to the shoulder seam. I just like the fact that this keeps it from folding up and bugging me when I am wearing it or after I wash it.

You can see the stitch in the ditch form the underside, but it completely disappears on the top.

Finished top out to lunch.

Aren't these sleeves fun?

 I received several compliments on this top while out and about in it today. I just love how fun it is. I also love that it was so easy to make. This particular pattern is such an easy construct that I highly recommend it to beginning sewists. The satisfaction from finishing it will definitely give the courage to continue on your sewing journey.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

McCall 7542

This is my post about my version of McCall 7542 for the contest that McCalls is running through their social media sites. I learned about it through their blog and on the Facebook group page.
I had already purchased this pattern as soon as the Spring line was released. I just love all the sleeve variations. I chose a white and blue laser cut eyelet from the Gertie line at Joann's. Being an eyelet it would need a lining. I went with a white muslin. I settled on view C with the pleated sleeves. I made it in a size 16 with a C cup.

I started with the lining first so I could make sure the fit was right. I used a blue, water soluble marking pen for all pattern markings. I wanted to make sure everything was where it should be. 

As you can see in these pictures, everything fell right into place.

This is the marking pen I use. On a light colored fabric I mark right through the pattern to make sure they are precisely where they should be.

This fabric has a printed scallop design on the border that I wanted to accentuate so I made sure to line up the pattern to allow for that.

Here is a picture of the markings through the pattern.

I hemmed the lining with a slightly deeper hem than called for so it would be shorter than my main fabric.

I also did a stitch in the ditch at the shoulder to hold the lining in place.

The pattern called for folding the  fabric and creating an encased edge before pleating. Since I wanted a lightweight sleeve and to showcase the border I only did half the width.

After cutting to length and marking, I practiced my machine's shell stitch on some scrap to get the right setting.

I settled on these settings for my Brother machine to get the right scallop.

This is the result. Very close and it worked great.

Then I changed the settings to do a scalloped hem on my main layer for the blouse.

This is my scalloped hem on my blouse before trimming.

I trimmed close to the stitched edge, but be careful not to clip your stitches.

Then I pressed my pleats and basted across the top. Look how pretty these pleats are!

Here is the pleated portion attached to the rest of the sleeve.

I love it!

Here is the finished blouse. (Please disregard the hot pink bra on Suzie my dressform.)

A close up on the sleeve.

This is the back. It closes with a hook and eye.

I love how quick and easy this pattern was to bring together. Seriously, the hardest part was pressing the pleats.

The sleeves are so fun and flirty. I especially like the lightweight feel of this material. It is totally necessary in the Texas humidity and heat.

I can't wait to make my second version of this awesome pattern. Next up will be view A with the tulip sleeve. Come on back y'all!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Second shirt dress

So, I mentioned before I was doing a sew along on McCalls Facebook page. I decided to use pattern 6696 and previously posted about the first draft of it  then. I liked the design except I did not like the extra fabric in the back. To much excess. So this time I took out some of the extra to reduce the poof. I laid the bottom portion of the back down and folded in on either side until it matched the top placket. It ended up being about 1 1/2 inches on each side. 

Once I had that accomplished I moved on to laying out my pieces on the fabric I had chosen.

This is from the Gertie line at Joann Fabrics. It's a beautiful cotton sateen and is just scrumptious! I also chose the clear faceted buttons so it had a little improvised sparkle when finished.

Here are the pieces laid out prior to cutting. I used my living room floor for extra space since I don't have a sewing room. I'm going to have to boot one of the kids out before I get that. They seem to be hanging around, so it may be awhile.

After I had it all cut out and was ready to sew tragedy struck. My youngest daughter let her friend use my favorite machine to stitch an Indian Princess dress...... And she broke it! The threading cassette wouldn't go in and the threader itself was bent. I was heartbroken! Dang kids! Think I'll have to cut her out of the will.

Thankfully, I have a back up machine, which is also a Brother, and I was able to get back to work. It took several weeks to get it together because we had our foundation repaired, flooring ripped up, new furniture delivered, and multiple lake trips that kept me from my machine. But, with a weekend finally available I decided to jump in. While starting to pin it I realized I wanted a little extra on this one. So I bought some rick rack for trim to bring out a pop of the pink. I think it worked. I trimmed the sleeves, collar, skirt bottom, and either side of the button placket. I really like the finished effect. 

I finished it today and I was worried it wouldn't fit because the waist looked really small during assembly. I was pleasantly surprised when I put it on and it buttoned right up. To finish the look I purchased a belt off of Amazon the matched the rick rack. I love the over all look and I'm glad I did the sew along.

Monday, June 13, 2016


I have a great fondness for flamingos. My kids might accuse me of being crazy about them. I have been looking at flamingo fabric for over a year now and trying to come up with a project to make with some. I found this fabulous flamingo border print at Joann's and knew I had to have it! 

Once I had my hot little hands on it I needed to decide what to make. What better thing to make than a skirt? It was a perfect idea for showing off this border print, especially since the top of the fabric has that cute striped border which is perfect for a waistband. I found a tutorial at Gertie's blog for better sewing here:
I loved the fullness and the easiness of creating the pattern (just some rectangles). 

I washed my fabric before starting because I wanted to make sure there would not be any shrinking after construction. I then made my pattern from brown packing paper because it was what I had on hand. I wouldn't recommend it because it was pretty stiff and kept trying to curl up from being on the roll. But, it worked out ok for me. 

After cutting out my super easy rectangles, I serged all my edges to finish them.

 Then I gathered the upper edge before I was going to attach the waistband. I applied fusing interfacing to one waistband piece and attached the two pieces at the top. Then I attached the fused side to the gathered edge of my skirt.

After attaching there, I hand stitched the other side down to conceal the gathered edge. Don't try to cheat here. The hand stitching is vital for a finished look to the skirt.

After finishing the waistband I inserted the invisible zipper. I am not a fan of invisible zippers. I'm still trying to find a method I like. So far, no luck. I just muddle through until I figure it's good enough. 

The final part was the hem. I decided to use the blind stitch setting on my machine. I wanted to make sure my hem stitching would not detract from my border print. So, it's all done and I am really happy with how it turned out. I can't wait to wear it with the cute flamingo scarf I bought a few weeks ago! I hope you like it as well!
Thanks for stopping by!