Saturday, April 28, 2007

McCall's 4872 - View B - Complete!

This past week, I picked the final of McCall's 4872 - View B back up and finished it Friday evening.

There's not much to tell on this one. The pattern and instructions are very straight forward.

I did everything pretty much the same way as with the muslin, except that this time I got the neck band right! This time, I used a regular twin needle that I have to topstitch the neck band, and it worked fine.

The fabric I used is a stretch knit (97% rayon, 3% lycra) that I picked up from Fashion Fabrics Club. It cost $6.34/yrd with shipping (or $4.95 without). It was not bad to work with - not as firm as the green interlock, not as stretchy as the paisley. It's very soft and comfortable.

All in all, this is a really fast and easy little pattern for t-shirts. I suspect I will be using many, many times.

For my next project, I think I'll try out Simplicity 4076 - View A or B (the wrap version) a try.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Simplicity 4076 - View D - Paisley version

I finished up Simplicity 4076 using a buttermilk knit I got from EmmaOneSock.

This version gave me quite a bit more trouble than the muslin version.

You can't see it very well in the picture, but the neck line is stretched out compared with the muslin's neckline. It's wearable, but only just. Also, the gathering in front didn't stick very well. It got rather smooshed out. There are still a few gathers there, but they almost look like mistakes, rather than something done intentionally.

There were two things that messed me up. One was the fabric itself. The buttermilk was far more stretchy than the interlock I used for the muslin. I spent quite a bit of time futzing with my needles and tension settings on scraps before I even started. And as I went along, I used various techniques to keep the stretching to a minimum.

Alas, the careful preparation and execution did not quite do the trick this time, in part because of the second thing that messed me up. My serger went wanky on me in the middle of sewing the neckband on. The far left thread tightened on the spool and broke (yes I had the cap thingy on to help prevent that sort of thing from happening) .

I finished serging with 3 threads, but had to go back over it with the sewing machine because the other needle thread was not the right color. That'll teach me to use the correct color only on the left-hand needle. By the time I finished with all this messing about, the neckline had gotten good and stretched out.

I was fairly bummed about it. I spent more on this buttermilk than I have on any other fabric before and to have the first project go astray is a little disheartening. Especially when I had done so much to make sure it would turn out well.

I had everything complete but the hems last Sunday, but dawdled all week because I wasn't happy with how it turned out. But, I finally finished it all up last night and it's grown on me a bit more. I'm still not completely happy with how the neckline sits - the stretching has made the top part a little large. But it's wearable, and that's a good thing.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Simplicity 4076 - View D - Another win!

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted.

The time has been well spent though.

I decided to stick with finishing up the Simplicity 4076 project rather than switching back to the McCalls 4872.

As straightforward as this pattern is, I'm glad I did a muslin with it first. It gave me the chance to do a few tweaks that were needed.

One of the things I needed to check were the alterations I made to the pattern. I had lengthened the sleeves a tad and the overall length by about 2 inches based on my pin fitting of the traced pattern.

Also, I was a little worried about the fit in general. The sleeves in particular seemed a little snug. But knit has more give, so I thought that just a little snug would work out OK.

Lastly, I wanted to test out the techniques I would use on the "real thing".

I worked on the muslin throughout the week before Easter and finished it up early Saturday (4/7). The sleeve alteration worked out just fine. Since I was going to use my serger for most of the seams, I had basted the side seams first, and tried it on just to be sure.

And wound up taking the 2 extra inches in the length back off. The extra length just didn't look right.

Other than that, the pattern worked well. Other people have noted that this particular view of 4076 has a flaw in that the side seam notches don't match up. No biggie since the pattern is otherwise well drafted. It was easy enough to make the side seams line up like they were supposed to.

The muslin turned out quite nice - completely wearable.

So wearable in fact that I wore it that afternoon to a family get together (in-laws 50th wedding anniversary). I hadn't washed it since putting it together, so there I was going about in public with chalk marks in the insides of my clothes! The fabric BTW is an interlock knit (50% Rayon, 50% Poly) that I picked up for $1.99/yd at Fashion Fabrics Club.

Here's a pic of the finished muslin. I spent last week and this weekend working on the "real thing" - a little bit at a time. I'm hoping I can have it finished up this week. (I hope I hope).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

For the Fashionistas

Don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.

I'm not a huge follower of "high" fashion. It's just never really been my thing.

But for those of you who are, here's a little plug for a friend of mine. He runs an e-bay store that carries vintage magazines called "More Magazines".

Among his vast collection are vintage copies of Vogue, Vanity Fair, McCalls, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Women's Home Companion, and more.

Each magazine is described in detail, including a listing of all the articles that are in it.

Just quickly exploring this morning, I found an entry for a 1960 copy of Vogue. Here's an excerpt from the e-bay page.

COVER: Suit thinking--are you with it? If you are, there's a new kind of suit, with a new longitude of coat, and a skirt to match. Here, the blazer dazzlement is extended full-length in golden apricot wool imported from France. The coat is piped in white silk shantung; the sleeveless blouse is white silk shantung, too. By Traina-Norell, admittedly Chanel- inspired. Gilt bracelets by Monet. Handbag by Lucille. All at Bergdorf Goodman. The suit, also at Dayton's; Neiman- Marcus; I. Magnin. More golden tones in the new Dorothy Gray lipstick, Jewel of India. Photograph by Horst.

So go have a looksee!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Quick Update

Just a quick update.

We went camping this past weekend, so I didn't get much sewing done. But I did cut out and start assembling a muslin for Simplicity 4076 on Sunday after we got back. I had traced, altered and cut out the pattern for that last week (View D). I should have the muslin finished tomorrow or Wednesday.

In the meantime, the fabric I had ordered from came in after we left on Friday. Good thing too, I would have pined for my sewing machine if I had gotten the fabric right before we left, instead of enjoying my outing with my family. This oreder had my 4076 muslin fabric, and my "real" fabric for McCall's 4872.

Not sure what I will do after I finish the muslin. I haven't decided if I will go back to the McCall's pattern and whip that up real quick, or stick with the Simplicity and make that one up.

In either case, these two are quick enough that I think I can get both done by the end of this weekend. It will be nice to have a couple of new tops to put in the closet.