Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stripey Maxi Dress - McCall's 7121

Finally! A quick and easy project that took less than a week from start to finish! Which I needed since my last one dragged on forever and the Pattern Review Sew Small contest starts this week. I'm a one project at a time sort of gal.

McCall's 7121
This project was one almost the whole family got to participate in. Because I had to stripe match some pretty large pattern pieces, the fabric wouldn't fit on my cutting table. So onto the biggest open spot on the tile floor it went. That meant fending off two greyhounds and a cat who never heard about Curiosity and The Cat was fun.

It was a good thing that ordering fabric from Amazon instead of their original incarnation only allowed me to order fabric in whole yards, meaning I had about 1/2 yard extra than what the pattern called for or I would have been making the knee length version. My fabric's stripes had a pretty big repeat meaning I had to really play around with pattern piece placement in order to get it to fit. I was within 1-2 inches of not having enough. However, once I got it all sewed up, I discovered I needn't have worried. The skirt is LONG and I had to cut off a couple inches to avoid dragging on the ground.

I enjoyed that I got to use my serger for most of this dress. Serging is fast! Zoom! I did baste it all together first with my fun new Pfaff with its IDT system (wow! love the IDT! no shifting whatsoever - the stripes stayed put where I pinned them when I basted them together.) I've been calling my new machine Pfanny Pfaff in my head.

The Front...With my helper Chloe
Next go round, I'm going to redraw the bodice to have the sleeves of a Simplicity dress (1808) that I have. It gives more shoulder coverage with elastic sewn in. It gives just a hint of sleeve while still being summery. I always end up wearing short sweaters with anything without sleeves, which annoys me in state that is summer 11 months out of the year.

The pattern calls for an elastic casing at the waist. I decided against that for a few reasons. Instead, I bought some clear elastic sew-in stabilizer that you use for stabilizing seams in knits. Just sewed it in when I serged the top to the bottom...easy peasy. (It was a first for me. I always agonize when doint a a "first.") I was concerned it wouldn't give enough stretch but it does. I used regular woven stabilizer tape for the shoulder seams. Next time, I want to add some to the side bodice seams since it stretches just a little bit with the weight of the skirt.

Another thing I want to do next go 'round, supposing there is a next go 'round, is to sew in a label in the back before I hem the back neckline. The only reason I can tell the front from the back when it's not on is the fact that I raised the front neckline by an inch. If I hadn't I would be puzzling it out each time I want to wear it, trying it on and checking if it fits right to see if I have it on backwards. And you know, you ALWAYS put it on wrong first, and even when you do put it on right, you doubt yourself...

Remember how I mentioned I had a helper when cutting out my pattern pieces? I also had a helper during the photo shoot. Chlode-Dog is such a good little helper

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