Wednesday, August 29, 2012

McCall's 5974 in School Colors and a nod to DVF

Here’s another fullish skirted dress for DD.  Her knee is improving, but the brace and crutches are still her daily accessories.  Tomorrow is back-to-school night at the high school where she teaches.  On Sunday, she asked if I had any fabric in the school's colors, green (and black), and if I’d have time to make her favorite “wrap” dress.  Well, of course!  Hello stash.  I pulled out two fabrics and e-mailed photos to her.  The first one I purchased at Spandex House in NYC last July, the second one has been in my stash for about a year.
She liked both, but thought the green/white would be best on an evening that might be pretty warm.  I love this fabric.  I bought it from for $4.80 per yard in May, 2011, because it reminded me of the fabric in a 70s DVF wrap. 

Photo:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
I’ve always loved this look and this fabric.  Yes, my fabric is different, but, still, it reminds me of the original.  For this dress, I made another McCall’s 5974, because although I love a wrap dress, it is a pain to make sure things stay closed!  This is a size 12 with my usual adjustments:  3 inches added to length of skirt, 1 to bodice, bound neckline, coverstitched hems for the skirt and sleeve, coverstitched binding at neckline, no zipper, sleeves sewn in flat, and shoulder seams stabilized.

I cut out the fabric Sunday night, worked on it until 11:00 p.m. that night, and spent another hour on it before work Monday morning.  After work, I had 45 minutes to sew before I left for my night class and then finished the dress when I got home after work Tuesday night.  Phew!--but well in time for Thursday's back-to-school event.  Now all I have to do is meet up with DD and, hopefully, snap a few pix of her in the dress.
This is the 4th time I’ve made this dress and I absolutely love it.  It is stylish and comfortable, plus I don’t think it looks Becky home-ecky.   I plan to make several more versions (why not?) and would love to find a good leopard or cheetah print for it too.
Up next?  Another Simplicity 2444 for DD, this time in a lightweight denim.  It’s ready to go—I just need to hem it and tack down the facings.
How about you?  Do you wear wrap dresses or mock-wrap dresses? 
Until next time...Happy sewing! ~ Peggy

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Simplicity 2444

As promised, here is the second full-skirted frock for my daughter.  This is Simplicity 2444, from their Project Runway line, and I'm very pleased with it.  The pattern is well drafted, came together very easily, and I like the combination of the four (front) bodice darts and the gentle pleats of the skirt.
I made a size 12, but added 1" in length to the bodice, 1/4" to the side seams, and 7" to the skirt length (we are tall people!).  I wound up trimming 1-3/4" off the skirt length, and gave it a 1" hem using my blindstitch hem foot.  It falls just below the knee.
The fabric is a stretch woven from, purchased in April for $4.98 per yard.  DD and I love, love, love the print and the colors.
The neckline and sleeves are bound in the fashion fabric, and I used an invisible zipper.  To mark the darts and pleats, I used my new erasable gel pens.  Have you tried these?  I love them!  Of course, I tested them on a scrap of the fabric first!  Use a hot iron on the marks, and they disappear like magic!
DD tried on the dress before it was hemmed, and the skirt provides plenty of room for her (temporary) leg brace.  She likes the comfort of the stretch woven fabric, and says the dress will be perfect for the classroom.  Yay!  The best compliment for me, though, is that she'd like more versions!  Next time, I will only add 1/2" to the bodice length and remove the 1/4" I added to the side seams--if I make it in a stretch woven.  In a regular woven, I'll still lengthen the bodice by 1/2" and I'll try leaving the 1/4" (at the side seams) to give her a little more ease.  I'll leave the skirt with the extra inches I added, although if I hadn't lengthened the skirt so much, I probably could've cut the front skirt on the fold to eliminate the center front seam--maybe next time.
You can see she has plenty of room in the bodice--perfect on a hot, hot day in a classroom filled with sweaty teenagers, but for going out, she'd like the bodice a little more fitted. 

Do you have any tricks for sewing stretch wovens?  Have you found a good source of them?

Until next time...
Happy sewing! ~ Peggy