14 August 2015

Maxidress Madness: McCall's 6700

Yes, I know, I'm late as all heck jumping on this bandwagon, but I DON'T CARE.

I stumbled across the pattern for this in a local shop for like a dollar.  I though it looked like a good buy--easy to sew and easy to wear.  I was a little surprised that it required knit rather than woven fabric--the dress on the envelope looks woveny to me--but I have plenty of knits I haven't sewed up so I went on with it. I broke out this pretty print that had been in the stash for a long time and went to work.

It took me longer to put this together than most folks, although I made very few alterations.  Actually, all I did was add to the skirt, grading out at the waist and hip.  The bust point measurement for the size that I usually cut for an FBA actually matched me, so I decided to give it a chance.

The most difficult parts of this were the shoulders.  I somehow don't have a loop turner (how?) and the tubes are so tiny, plus In the jersey they stretched. I gave up out of frustration and just stitched the long ends together and knotted the ends. Next time I'll do them properly.   Also, the shoulders gathered a lot when I attached the elastic, but they flattened out when I attached the straps (which are stitched to the outside shoulder seams). In the end, they were ok.

The bust ended up fitting pretty well--I did find that once I removed the basting that held each section to each other that---well, I need to baste them back together for modesty. 

was surprised to find that it was actually floor-length on me! I dunno how more petite ladies deal. Also pleasant: the high waist hit at my waist.

I made the sash that comes with the pattern, but after trying it a few times I decided I prefer the dress without it.  Next time I might do a wider sash, or completely go without. 

I wore it to work with a cardigan.  Except for the gaping top issue, it was very comfy! Definitely a Secret Pajamas sew. 


13 August 2015

Cirrus Solids Miniquilt Challenge--Finished!


My finished mini, "The Braidout," 2015

OK, so I just kind of made this up as I went along, but I actually really like the result!

Our guild hosted a fun and interesting lecture and trunk show with Cloud 9 Fabrics this past winter. Cloud 9 is based right here in New Jersey and produces beautiful organic cottons for quilting and garments, and recently launched a gorgeous line of solids called Cirrus Solids. We decided it would be fun to do a challenge involving making mini quilts with only Cirrus Solids. Everyone got a package of six fat eighths, randomly selected.  I got Limestone, Fuchsia, Grass, Shadow, Sand, and Lagoon in my pack.

I had my fabric pack for about two months with no movement. I was totally without ideas. What to do? I considered and tossed out numerous ideas. Eventually I just started Pinteresting and blog hopping like any good modern sewist, and somehow stumbled on this ribbon quilt border tutorial. Here was a way to use all the colors in an interesting pattern! It was a start.

I set about trying to figure out scale.  I decided I wanted the colors to float in white. At first I tried very tiny strips, but that didn't quite work. (And yes, I muslined my quilt blocks! Old habits die hard.) 

Once I had a good size (and a day or so to readjust my vision to bigger blocks) I set about sewing my real fabric.

Then it was time to quilt! I thought of a number of ideas but settled on narrow straight lines on the background to follow the long blocks.

Within them, I didn't want anything to obscure the fabric, so I (GASP) stitched in the ditch, with invisible thread.  I'd never tried invisible thread before, but the YLI suggested to me at my local LQS was about as dreamy to work with as one could hope for. I did no prep beyond lowering tension a teeninchy bit---no thread stand, used a regular quilting needle---and only had one thread break, at the very beginning.

I initially wanted the binding to be quiet to let the colors of the blocks shine through. But I had some leftover strips and not enough grey to bind, so I just cut them in binding-sized strips and pieced them in. I didn't want them cut off by sewing on the diagonal, so I sewed them straight, figuring it was really no different from one long straight- or cross-grain piece, and also rationalizing that it's not as though this will get a lot of wear and tear.

Then a bit of machine binding and all done!

I wasn't sure I was going in the right direction at any point while working on this, but I think it came out pretty well in the end. 

I decided to call it "The Braidout" because the blocks reminded me of braids. (A braidout, in case you don't know, is a particular way of hairstyling--which I am doing this very minute!--that involves plaiting your wet hair and taking it down when dry.)

Now--to hang vertically or horizontally?


Template by Suck My Lolly - Background Image by TotallySevere.com