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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

McCall;s 6435 Lace Top!

After agonizing over whether to actually use this beautiful black stretch lace I purchased from Treadle Yard Goods in Minneapolis, I came across this pattern by McCalls and decided it is better to take a risk and cut into it and see if I liked the result.  Well, guess what, I love it! Why didn't I use this lace sooner? 

Here is my review for a rather graphic top and here is a picture of it.    McCalls 6435 top 

MISSES' TOPS: Close fitting, pullover tops have neck and sleeve length variation. A,B: Heart shaped yoke. C,D: Asymmetrical shaped yoke.
Designed for light and medium-weight moderate stretch knits only.
SUGGESTED FABRICS: For Moderate Stretch Knits: Cotton Knits, Jersey, Stretch Sheers, Stretch Lace.
When I read Stretch Lace, I knew I could wait no longer to use my beautiful lace.  I also really like the graphic ITY knit I purchased at Treadle. 

While it is close fitting and I know how some of these patterns fit me, I went ahead and used a size 14 which translates to a medium in RTW.  I think it fits great! 

Here is my review:
What did I like or dislike about the pattern?  Loved how easy it is to put together.  This is an instant gratification project with great looking results.  Everything fit together really well.  You won't believe this, but I actually lowered the neckline about 1.5 inches in the front by just gradually cutting the neckline starting at the center front and tapering to about 3 inches from the shoulder seam.  I just felt like I was getting a little strangled by the fabric.  This is so unusual for me as I typically raise necklines as much as I can! 

What did I change?  Not much, only enough to make the pattern my own and add a few extras to make the top not look to RTW. 
I used clear elastic at the shoulder seams so they would stay put and not stretch out and you know what, it works great! 
I used seam tape at the seam between the lace and main fabric, just to keep everything neat and tidy.  I decided I just didn't want to hem anything, so I cut 1 inch wide pieces of black stretch mesh, folded it over and sewed it to the right side of the hemmed edges.  Next I simply turned the seam to the wrong side and topstitched on the right side.  I love how it finished off the neckline, sleeves, and lower hem. 
I did my typical 1/2 inch swayback adjustment with good results! 

I highly recommend this pattern to others.  It is simple, can be dressed up and down and has so many fabric combinations that is it just one of those patterns you don't want to forget you own.  You don't even have to use the contast fabrics and can simply tape those edges together and cut out just a front and back.  It really does fit that well!  Yes, I know that a strapless or black bra would look better, but I just didn't want to change undergarments for a pic. 

Conclusion:  I had a lot of fun with this top.  DD2 wants one next so I had her try on mine.  With a few minor adjustments she will have a unique top as well! 

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vogue 8834

This is a Katherine Tilton top that is a new pattern.  When I saw it on the Vogue pattern website, I knew I had to have it!  Here is the description from the back of the envelope: Very loose-fitting top has yoke extending into collar (wrong sides show) with dart tucks, no shoulder seams, mock front bands, narrow hem and asymmetrical button closing.  Instructions for silk screening are included.  Well, guess what, I didn't silk screen or embellish this top in any manner! 
Here is a picture of the pattern envelope: Vogue 8834

Suggested fabrics are poplin, polished cotton and cotton lawn.  It takes up to 17 buttons to march down the front of this top, so be prepared to spend some time with your button hole feature of your machine. 

I chose view C with the long sleeves.  The fabric I used was a fun poly print from Hancock.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I purchased it but it was so adorable, I had to have it.  When I saw this pattern, I thought, bingo!  Perfect!  The only thing that wasn't perfect about it is the stiffness of the fabric.  To really do this pattern justice, you need a perky cotton--if you know what I mean! 

This is a multi-sized pattern.  You may choose the ranges from 10 to 18 or 18 to 26.  I made a 14.  It fits me perfectly though the shoulders and given the style and manner in which this top is created (no shoulder seams) it must fit precisely in that area of the body. 

What did I like/dislike about the pattern?  I simply loved the construction process.  Almost every seam is sewn with a french seam which makes it so neat and tidy on the inside.  The only seam I used my serger on is the armhole.  I do wonder about the 'easy' rating on this pattern.  No, french seams are not hard, but with the shoulder darts, the french seams and the collar, I am not sure this is entirely easy. 

What did I change?  Nothing, I used the pattern instructions as written (gasp!)  I even used the buttonhole guide as the proper placement for the buttonholes. 

I highly recommend this pattern.  It is unique and fun but quite stylish at the same time.  While it is unique, I do believe I will repeat this pattern in a crisper cotton in a three-quarter or short-sleeved version.  I think I will like how the collar sits on my neckline. 

Conclusion: this was so much fun to stitch up!  There are so many embellishment possibilities with this top and the possibility of paint.  The buttons really show off the asymmetrical closure, so use some color/contrast when choosing the buttons you want.