Watercolor McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

Springtime in December! Although we’ve been having a really mild winter so far, so this dress actually isn’t too seasonally inappropriate!  Last month I was contacted by Art Gallery Fabrics to see if I wanted to make something with fabric from Pat Bravo’s DARE collection. I was really drawn to this Rebel Brushstokes print so I took them up on their offer. Not exactly a wintry fabric though, so I went with a more summery silhouette that could be layered when it’s chilly.

I decided to use the ever popular McCalls 6696 shirtdress pattern which I scored for $1.50 at a Hancocks sale a couple months ago. I haven’t used a Big 4 pattern in a long time, but this design was too cute to pass up! I made View C (sleeveless and straight skirt) and added the belt loops from View A. I knew it ran big so I went down a size (from 10 to 8) and used the A/B cup bodice pieces. I’d also read that the gathering in the back bodice can get kind of poofy, so I reduced it by two inches. The only other change I made was shortening the skirt by 3 inches (I’m 5’4″). Luckily it fits pretty well! The bodice is still a little roomy and I need to do a swayback adjustment, but overall not too bad. Construction was straight-forward. I used the instructions more as guidelines and used my preferred shirt-making methods where I saw fit. It’s a great design, and I’ll definitely use this pattern again!

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

This colorful dress-and-cardi look is a little outside my comfort zone, but I think I like it! It’s a nice change from jeans and neutrals.

This fabric was really nice to work with and I love the pretty watercolor print!

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

I’m also wearing my Seamwork Wembley cardigan which I made last month with the leftover fabric from my first AGF make. Totally unplanned, but I think the fabrics go really well together! Wembley was a super quick make and it has a shape that looks great with dresses.

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

McCalls 6696

Anyone else doing some seasonally inappropriate sewing? Or maybe rushing to get Christmas presents done? I’m being totally selfish and finishing up a couple holiday dresses for myself!

<3 Lindsay

The fabric for this post was provided by Art Gallery Fabrics. All content and opinions remain my own.

Quilted Sweatshirts Duo

Quilted SweatshirtsWith the weather finally getting chilly around here I decided to make quilted sweatshirts for myself and Nathaniel: Named’s Sloane sweatshirt for me and Seamwork’s Paxson raglan for him.

With other knit Named patterns I’ve sized down, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that with this one, especially if your fabric doesn’t have a lot of stretch. I made my true size (34) and I’m really happy with the fit. It’s definitely a pattern I’ll be using again! The long darts give it a bit of a slimmer fit than your traditional sweatshirt, so you may even want to size up if you’re planning on wearing it over layers.

The thing I’m not terribly happy with is the fabric. It looks great and the outer layer is super soft… but the inner layer is kind of itchy. It’s not too bad when worn over a t-shirt, but it’s definitely not as cozy as I was expecting. The funny thing is that I got the end of the bolt with my fabric.com order, so I have over a yard of this fabric left. I’m not sure yet what to do with it… maybe pillows since the outside is so soft?

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

I’m also wearing my “wearable muslin” Ginger jeans. For my first pair, I’m really surprised how well these fit! From my Jamie Jeans experience I knew that there were three main pattern alterations I’d need: shortening the legs, taking in the inner thigh, and doing a swayback adjustment on the waistband. I did all these to the paper pattern (guessing at the right amounts) before cutting it out  and basting the jeans together. The basted fit was good, so I didn’t make any further adjustments.

The denim is super soft, but also fairly lightweight. That would be great for summer, except this fabric has one fatal flaw: it attracts cat hair like crazy. One sit-down on the couch and it’s all over. A lint brush helps a bit, but this fabric is seriously a cat hair magnet.

This is View A: low rise and straight leg. I definitely want to try the high-waisted version next! I’ve ordered some Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics for my next couple pairs.

Ginger Jeans

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

The fabric I used for Nathaniel’s sweater, on the other hand, is much softer on the inside. The issue here was with the fit. His measurements placed him at the low end of the size medium, so I thought I’d be fine sewing the size M even though the fabric didn’t have quite as much stretch as called for. Incorrect. Especially since I think Paxson is meant to be worn as a shirt rather than layered on top of something. So it ended up a little tight, but not unwearably so.

The other issue was with the cuffs and hemband. The sleeves (and therefore the cuffs) ended up too short, while the hemband ended up too long and frumpy looking. Luckily these were easy to fix: I cut off the hemband and shortened it, and re-cut new, longer cuffs.

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

So neither project turned out quite as expected, but I think they’ll get a lot of wear anyway! And they were quick to make at just a couple hours each.

How’s your winter sewing coming along?

<3 Lindsay