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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Back Blogging with A Back Blog of McCalls 7466.



 I'm back blogging, and of course, I have a back log of blogs to blog (try saying that 10 times extremely quickly).  I needed to take a break from blogging - it can get quite tiring publishing a blog regularly for three years.  A well earned blog holiday was needed.

I also hit a bit of a low energy patch which even affected my desire to sew. What I do in those patches is make wearable muslins.  That way, I can keep in practice, try a new pattern and maybe get a decent garment to wear or at the very least find a pattern that is worth revisiting.

I try and find bits of fabric that are very cheap at Spotlight in order to make wearable muslins. This was one such piece - backing cotton for quilt making.  It was very wide (about 260 cms) and as it was only $3.00 per metre, I purchased three metres.  My original intent was to use it instead of muslin or calico for unwearable muslins (toiles) but I liked the fabric enough that I decided to risk garments.   Although I have to say it is a little thick and cardboard like.

For this dress, I used a McCall's pattern (M7466):



This is a princess seamed dress - as you can see, the seams run vertically all the way down the dress, and I thought this would be a good line for my straighter body. There is a waist seam as well, which I was not sure about as I don't have a waist, but I thought it would just go into the line of the garment.

The pattern suggests some quite thick materials -faux suede, corduroy, cotton blends, so I thought my thick cardboard like fabric might work.

I did a quick test of the bodice and it seemed to fit reasonably well.  I cut a 14 front, a 12 back, and added a little to the sides at the waist. I added small patch pockets to the front of the dress.  And the neckline was far too high, so I had to lower it.  I did this by trimming the garment's neck directly after I had sewn the bodice up. - not my favourite way of doing things, but needs must.  If you look at the pattern picture, you can see the neckline is running right across the models neck - how uncomfortable.  I also lowered the front waist a little as I knew it would ride up on me.  The pattern also uses yoke facings and a front facing.  I thought this was going to be a little thick given the fabric I was working with, and I chose to use a lawn lining in the bodice instead.  I also added 4 inches in length.

I did not like the large pockets shown on version D, nor do I like breast pockets.  I decided to do a small patch pockets on the skirt.

All the seams are topstitched,  which took up considerable time.  Just as well I like topstitching.  I did not like the way the pattern suggested double seaming and trimming next to the second line of stitching, then fold over and top stitch, so I flat felled the seams instead.

The hemline was very deep - two inches. This on an A-line shape.  I could see potential hemming problems here, and hemmed at 1.25 inches.  I also altered the shape of the seam at the hemline so that it did not flare out - I tapered it in slightly to get rid of some of the fullness normally pinched in.

The zipper insertion recommended by the pattern was a lapped zip.  The seam allowance for this was 5/8 inch.  Now, if you ever do a lapped zip, do yourself a favour and add a 1 inch seam allowance.  You will need this for and effective lap, and also to have enough allowance to stitch the zip in.




I think mastering a lapped zip is one of the best things I ever did - they are still really useful if you can't get an invisible zip that matches your fabric.

I have to admit that the cotton was absolutely horrible to work with, and my overlocker refused to do a good job with the armhole seams.  I looked at the mess, and covered it with binding:



Well, enough of the details, it's time for the pictures:






There is a little bit of fullness at the back, and generally, I have allowed a lot of ease with this garment. That is because I like to be able to move, and really don't like fitted garments at all unless they have stretch in them.  And when I bend over, I do need quite a bit of ease:



As far as the fabric is concerned, I think this will work for Autumn, but I would like a nice, lightweight one next summer. The fabric is a bit thick and bulky, but when you think about it, so were the fabrics recommended by the pattern - faux suede and corduroy.  Scuba was also on the list.

I can't help but think this dress would actually work better in a lighter weight fabric.  So next summer, I shall find out.  I am putting the altered pattern to one side so that it can be remade in something a little softer.

That's it for now, my Fit and Finish dress for the Make a Garment a Month group's February theme:


Next week I will show you the Lisette trousers:


Now, these really are a fun pair of pants and the firmer fabric works well.  But I will tell you all these next week.

For now, wishing you all the best, wherever you are,

Sarah Liz

40 comments:

  1. Your dress looks great, and I was fascinated to read all your pattern adjustments. That was a great idea to bind the armhole - I am thinking of a few bad overlocking jobs I have done which could do with the treatment. Have a lovely weekend and I hope you have a chance to wear your Greenery dress!

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    1. Thank you Patricia - I find binding hides a multitude of sins.

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  2. This dress looks lovely . The colour really suits you and the fit looks great. well done. It will probably work when it gets cooler with a cardigan and boots. I love the pants.

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    1. Thanks Mandy - yes, it will be great in Autumn, which seems to have arrived, so it will be getting worn soon. Boots are a good idea.

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  3. Sarah Liz thanks for your condolences and nice words on my blog. I know this dress may feel a bit stiff to you (hopefully it will soften) but it looks so terrific on you. It's one of my favourite things you have made. And colour of the year too.

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    1. Thank you- I agree, it's a style that suits me. I have the dress soaking in salted water, so that should help - it just needs a bit of softening.

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  4. I have been nice watching Peggy Sagers YouTube videos...she suggests using a can of Coke in the washing machine to soften fabric. You might try that to soften your great find. Won't change the heft but might be more comfortable to wear..something to try perhaps.

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    1. Thank you for your suggestion - I wondered what the softening agent was, and have googled to find out all sorts of ways of softening cotton. Thanks for setting me off in that direction...

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  5. Nice dress and fit does look good! I think your suggestion about the lapped zipper is very helpful. I sew mainly invisible zippers but on occasion I will follow pattern instructions and use a lapped zipper, which never looks good to me.

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    1. Thank you Linda - yes, you will find there is more to fold and play with when you have a wider allowance. It's near impossible with the 5/8 inch allowance.

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  6. Your dress is absolutely beautiful! You did a wonderful job fitting it, and making adjustments according to what you like. The color is also perfect! An all-around great dress!

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    1. Thank you Vanessa. I've got to know my body so I know the basic adjustments to make. Still got more to learn though!

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  7. My goodness this dress looks great on you! The colour, the fit, etc. I liked your lapped zipper very much. I would love to see you make this dress again in a fabric that you like. You really do look good in this emerald green!

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    1. Thank you LoveNicky - yes, this is the right sort of colour for me and the right sort of style :)

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  8. I think of all the dresses you have made this one really suits you, and the color is perfect. I can see this matched with a cozy cardi for Fall. Job well done!

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    1. Thank you Diane. Our Autumn is just around the corner, and I will be wearing with cardi and tights.

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  9. A really great style on you Sarah Liz. I love the colour as well. Cannot wait to see your take on the Lizette pants. I am taking a blog break as well - a little longer than planned but I am now working 13 days out of 14 so somethings had to go!

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    1. Thank you. And yes, now you are working so many hours, you will not have time to blog, probably not time to sew either.

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  10. Great dress Sarah Liz. I agree on your comment about lapped zippers. They can hide all manner of interesting colour combinations 😉. Thanks for the suggestion to increase the seam allowance I've just added that to my notebook for next time.

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    1. Thank you Emma - always glad to share a tip.

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  11. Lovely dress! For a wearable muslin, it certainly does look good. And that green colour looks wonderful on you.

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    1. Thank you Irene - I always make my wearable muslins as if they were the garment, because they often end up being worn!

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  12. I really like the green in the dress. Pity it is a bit cardboard-y but hopefully that will soften with washing. I think it's an impressive make, with the pockets, lining etc. It doesn't pull anywhere and fits you really well. I'm sure you'll make this one again. Looking forward to the trousers - Trish S

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    1. Hello Trish- thank you, and yes, this is on the make again list in a nicer fabric. Am soaking in salty water, so hopefully will soften.

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  13. The green is a good colour for you, and this silhouette is just perfect!

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    1. Thank you - colour and the right style certainly help!

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  14. It looks really nice. I'm really liking seeing you in a bit of colour, it suits you so well!

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    1. Thank you Carolyn - there will be lots more colour, interspersed with the basic neutrals.

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  15. Muslin fabric is quite expensive and then if the garment turns out OK you would never wear it so I think your idea of cheap fabric is better because at least you have a wearable garment and it does look terrific. I am keen to see the pants and jacket because they really appealed to me as well. So even if the fabric isn't the best you will get some wear out of it and you kept up your mojo and tried out new styles. Wins everywhere. Hope you are feeling refreshed in all ways now.

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    1. Hello Janine - that is my logic as well - with the plus that if you wear it you can also work out if you really want to wear the style as well. And thankyou, starting to feel much more energetic - the cooler weather we are having here helps too

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  16. Sarah Liz, this dress is beautiful inside and outside. I am with Carolyn. Hope you enjoy wearing it :)

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    1. Thank you Hana - as soon as I saw the pattern I knew I had to make it.

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  17. I like this dress on you. Looks smart and practical. I love how you finished the armhole edges, it looks very professional so hoorah for the overlockker not liking it or you wouldnt have used the binding!

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    1. Hello Dawn - thank you, and yes, there is no way I would do binding if I didn't have to, don't like doing it as you know. But I am getting better at it..

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  18. What a beautiful dress! You did it! I wasn't interested in this pattern, but I would like to get it now :)))

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    1. Thank you - yes the pattern envelope was not that inspiring, but I liked the seam lines, so that was the decision made!

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  19. Sarah, this is so neatly done. You are so good with making the necessary adjustments to achieve a perfect fit. Thick fabrics can be difficult to work with. What a job well done!

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    1. Thank you - and I am still learning to fit, and as soon as I know what to do, my body will change again. Agree, nice, thin, do what you want fabrics are the best to work with!

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  20. Love this dress. Looks good on you.. Will be cute with the cardi and leggins.. Happy sewing.

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  21. This is one of my favorite dresses you've made! The color and fit is perfect for you. Brilliant idea to cut different sizes for the front and back!! That has never occurred to me and is always my problem too. And what is it with high necklines in newly released patterns?! :)

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