McCall’s 7501: Two versions

Hi all! I’m back with two versions of a McCall’s 7501, both made with fabrics from my stash (YAY!). When I first saw this pattern, I knew it had to be mine. I love the drama of a wide collar. It has a vintage vibe I love.

 

My  first version is made from a textured sweater knit with moderate stretch. Unfortunately, I didn’t have quite enough for a dress, but this sweater knit has a loose weave that’s probably better suited for a tunic top anyway.

img_2756The collar is designed so that it fits very neatly on your shoulder, which makes this so comfortable to wear. On me, it’s a teeny bit off the shoulder, which I love! Because the sweater knit is an open weave, I’m wearing it here with a tee under it because, baby it’s cold outside. When the weather warms up though, this will be the perfect spring sweater.

Version two is a Little Black Dress, made from ponte knit. I have a special ‘dress-up’ event coming up this weekend, so I couldn’t resist making a version out of a dressy ponte knit I had in my stash. It’s really thick and yummy, embossed with a design that looks like velvet.

 

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It’s so hard to take photos of a black dress, so I hope you can see the cool design on this knit. Even though this dress is close fitting, this stretchy knit makes it comfortable to wear. If my husband wanted to dance (ha), I could! There aren’t any darts, and the sleeves are raglan, so this is an easy sew. Even though the pattern doesn’t call for lining, I did line my dress with a lightweight black stretch satin so that it won’t cling when I walk. The collar is supposed to be faced, but my knit was so thick I just turned the edges under of a single layer of fabric.

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I think the body and weight of this fabric is perfect for this dress, so I’d definitely recommend chosing a similiar ponte knit. It has nice crosswise stretch, which helps the collar to cup over the shoulder. I don’t think a ponte without some give would work as well.

I love my new top and dress. They’re both comfortable, but fitted, which is a great combination.

I’ve become such a fan of making two versions of the same pattern one right after the other. It’s such an efficient way to go, because the second time is so easy and fast. I wonder why I don’t do that all the time (?), especially when I find a pattern I love. Of course, it’s a bit of an assembly-line approach to sewing, but that didn’t seem to diminish the fun factor for me. Maybe some of you are wondering why I just came to this method because you’ve been sewing this way for years! Would love to hear any and all opinions.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

DIY Date Night Dress

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After I made a swing dress for the Day and Night Dress Challenge, I knew there would be another in my future. What is it that makes a swing dress so fun to wear?!? For me, it’s the way the skirt moves. It’s not quite ‘twirl-worthy’, but fun just the same.

This dress is another attempt to fill in a hole in my wardrobe. The ‘dress up’ category is woefully lacking. So, now I have another ‘date night’ outfit and I used up some of my stash too! This fabric is so yummy; a black ponte knit that’s embellished with a  silvery rose lace pattern. I knew it was destined to be used in a garment that had simple lines so that the interesting fabric could take center stage.

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I do like to combine laces and patterns and textures from time to time just for the fun of it, so I enjoyed mixing and matching laces here. I used a very airy lace from my stash for the yoke and sleeves, then a silver embroaidered lace for one of the contrasting yoke bands. I also added a yoke band of solid velvet to add some contrast to all of the patterns and textures in the lace.

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This dress is a mash-up of a couple of different patterns, Vogue 8817 for the yoke and contrasting yoke bands, and Vogue 8952 (view B) for the swingy bodice. The reason I used two patterns is that I know that the bodice of Vogue 8817 has too much volume for my frame, so I used the bodice of 8952 to draft my a-line bodice.

I did a bit of the high-low thing on the hem to give it a bit more swing. I also lined the bodice with stretch satin so that it won’t cling to my legs. For even more contrast, I made very narrow velvet cuffs for the sleeves.

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I love the fun, flirty shape of this dress. It isn’t too serious, if you know what I mean. Lots of party dresses are a bit too fussy for me, but this one is simple enough to let me be free to party!

I’ll say one thing though. That yellow cat better not think he can lay on it. Those claws would absolutely destroy it.

img_2214Okay, I might be finished with swing dresses for a bit now :). My only concern with this dress is that I might have overdone it here a bit with the lace mash-up. I’ll probably wear it all the time anyway!

I’ve been eyeing my closet, and evaluating. I realize now that some of my makes from a couple of years ago aren’t getting worn enough to justify the space they take in my closet. Some of the fabrics are lovely though, so I might give refashioning a try, although I’ve very little experience doing this. Have you refashioned older makes to keep that fabric in your life? How have you gone about that?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

DIY: Philip Lim Inspired Top

 

img_2016Hi all! The inspiration for this stash-busting top was a Philip Lim creation I saw at the San Francisco Saks a couple of weeks ago. It’s so fun to wander around in that amazing store, a real treat for me since we don’t have a Saks here anymore (wah!). But when I saw this top it was instant ‘love’. The bold plaid, the color blocked side panels, the contrast trim and stitching, I wanted it all. But alas, the price tag….

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So, I set about making my own version. The good news? I used left over remnants from my recent Day Dress, and another plaid from a top I made years ago. So no new money was spent in the making of this top.

img_2040The pattern I used for this make is a tried and true: Vogue 9054.

It’s out-of-print but still available on their website and on Etsy. The design detail that makes this pattern the perfect choice for my Philip Lim top is that it has a front panel. So, that’s where I placed my cotton plaid. I used a contrasting off white knit for the side panels. Even though this pattern is designed for knits, my inspiration top combined knits and wovens, so I went out on a limb and did the same thing. I think the loose design of this top made that combination less risky than it otherwise would have been. The fit really didn’t change. I also added a contrast band to the collar and cuffs.

img_2020A detail I love on the inspiration top was the stitching on the front and back panel seams. To get that look, I top stitched those seams with a decorative stitch. I wanted to use the flat lock stitch on my serger, but alas, it just wouldn’t behave. My substitute stitch isn’t quite as stunning, but I still like it.

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I especially like the way Vogue designed the hemline of this top. There’s a bit of a high-low thing going on there that’s fun.

img_2002Well, I think my top will work as a reasonable substitute for the Philip Lim top, and wearing my DIY  version will save me from spending hundreds of dollars I don’t have. I rarely think that sewing saves money, but when it comes to designer fashions, it has a very strong edge. Thanks to Philip for the inspiration! The colors of this top make it a seasonal transition item, I think, and I feel almost Springy as we persevere through another ice storm with freezing rain. Ugh!

I’m glad I used some fabric from my stash here, because my goal this year is to reduce the size of  my stash (yes, I used bold font so I won’t forget, LOL). Lately, I’ve been feeling like I have to ‘sew to my stash’, if you know what I mean. I often buy fabric with a project in mind, but by the time I get to it, my enthusiasm for it has waned or the inspiration is gone. That means my stash is huge, and it means my sewing is often motivated by the guilt that comes with excess. It overwhelms and confuses my creative urges (yes, I’m a junkie). So, my goal is to sew some of it ASAP and give some to friends or charity so that it doesn’t weigh me down. What do you think, fellow fabric junkies? Will this strategy work? 

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!