Monday, May 24, 2010

A wedding with McCalls 5570

One of my besties got married this weekend and I was honored to be a bridesmaid. One of my gifts to her was making the flower girl dress. But after spending countless hours on the dress, ask me how many pictures I took? I'll wait.........

ONE. And it was with my camera phone! So I've spent the morning stalking facebook pics of the wedding hoping to find a few decent ones.  I apologize now for the low picture quality.

Pattern Description: Children's/Girls' Lined Dresses and Sash. So very descriptive right? There are three different bodice variations (sleeveless, cap sleeve, or spaghetti straps) with the same full skirt. The dress is fully lined with tons of ruffles to make the full skirt and finished off nicely with a waist sash.

Pattern Sizing: Available in sizes 2-8. I cut somewhere between the 2-4 range.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were donesewing with it? Yes


Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes they were. After a while the construction started to follow a logical process so I ceased to refer to the written instructions and occassionally glanced at the drawings.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The dress is adorable, what's not to like? But in all honesty I can't say that I was prepared for sewing through so many layers of fabric. I actually broke a couple of needles which is rare for me. That didn't really have anything to do with the pattern itself which appeared to be well drafted. I do wish they would print finished measurements on children's patterns as it was really tough for me to gauge. I will say that sewing the ruffles wasn't all that fun. Particularly when by the end of the reception they were non existent. Little Missy keep pulling her dress up to make it poofier but hey she's four and she still looked adorable even with her dress dragging the floor.

Fabric Used: For the lining I used an ivory china silk, for the dress itself an ivory slipper satin, for the sash a yellow slipper satin, and for the ruffles a green netting.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None as far as construction.  I did opt to add a purchased green bow to the back of the dress.  I used it to hold the sash in place instead of tying a bow.  It also really help draw all of the wedding colors together.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would not sew it again but I would recommend it if you have the patience and time to make it.

Conclusion: Very cute dress that was appropriate for the occassion. Though it took quite a bit of time to make the end result was worth it.

Bottom Line:
1 yd of yellow slipper satin = 4.23

2.5 yds of ivory slipper satin = 10.58

6.5 yds of china silk = 13.70

8 yds of netting = 3.54

1 - 14” zipper =1.70


Monday, May 10, 2010

Senior Prom and Vogue 2847

Pattern Description: Vogue 2847 Close-fitting (through bust) slightly flared dress in two lengths has foundation with boning and back zipper closure. Wrong side will show on the skirt front pleat. A: shoulder straps. B: strapless.

I made view B which is the floor-length strapless view.

Pattern Sizing: Available in 6-22. I ended up cutting about an inch outside the size 22 pieces.

Baby Sis and her Date

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No but that was due to some changes that I made. More on that later.

Posing outside their ride

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the instructions and drawings were very helpful particualary when it came to the foundation. This was my first time making a garment that required that and I think it turned out very well.

The finished bodice foundation. You can see the boning and double fold bias tape finish.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? My sister picked out this pattern and I like it because it was very flattering to her body type and didn't make me want to pull out my hair during construction. I didn't have any dislikes although I will say that if you are larger than a B/C cup you may need to make an FBA. It wasn't necessary for my sister but it may be an issue others run in to.

Fabric Used: A turquoise satin purchased at Joann's.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I ended up making the back a corset instead of installing a zipper. I did this for a couple of reasons-one I had a hard time finding a zipper that was even remotely close to matching the fabric and when I did find one, it wasn't an invisible zipper. So I would have ended up having to do a lapped zipper which I personally dislike on formal wear. Second my sister has a wide back and instead risking a zipper mishap, I figured why not make it more comfortable by doing a corset? That actually sounds like an oxymoron putting corset and comfortable in the same sentence, lol. I also added a couple of inches to the hem due to her height and to give it a more breezy feel.

I love this picture.

Construction: I do not always include this section in my review but I thought this time it may be helpful, particularly with respect the changes that I made. The order of construction has you complete the bodice including attaching the front knot then stitching the skirt front together, make the pleat and then attach the skirt to the bodice. Next is the foundation part which was the longest part in the construction. You stitch all the foundation pieces together and top stitch. You then add single fold bias tape along placement lines, the center front, and all the side seams.

The bodice foundation in progress....

The bias tape houses the boning which in my case I had to remove from the casing in order to get it to fit inside. You finish the bottom edge of the foundation by adding double fold bias tape and stitching. Attach the foundation to the bodice (right sides facing), stitch, fold over and under stitch.

Here is where I deviated from the pattern: I stitched the center back skirt seam up to just above the waist. I then finished the remaining exposed edges with my serger. I fold the edges over twice and stitched down about 1 inch from the edge. I then used an eyelet punch and added 1/8 holes for lacing the corset every 1 ½ inches down and about ½ inch from the edge. During a trial run I felt that the 3/16 holes were too big as when I added the eyelet, not all of the fabric was caught underneath. I then added 3/16 eyelets. For the back modesty panel, I took a leftover piece of fabric that was about 24" x 18" added facing, folded in half and pressed. I then finished the edges with my serger. To attach it, I added snaps to the far side of the eyelets at the top and added 3 evenly spaced snaps at the bottom. I used the leftover double fold bias tape for ribbon. I actually cut it in half and serger the edges to prevent fraying and add durability.

View of the corset back and modesty panel

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I won't sew this again but not because I didn't like it. I do recommend it as I had great results even with the changes that I made. It was a well drafted pattern with great directions.

Conclusion: My sister loved the dress and that's all that matters!

Bottom Line:

Fabric: ~$20

Thread ~$3.60
Eyelets $3
Single and double fold bias tape $4
Boning $3
facing from stash

Total in supplies: ~ $34

The look on baby sister's face: PRICELESS

*I purchased an eyelet and snap punch for $20 but I don't usually include tool purchases in the bottom line