m5330This pattern McCall’s 5330 turned out pretty nicely when I made view A. I had a little trouble with buttonholes, as I always do, but it turned out well. But years ago I had tried to make view B of this skirt, with bad results.

I hadn’t been sewing long at that point, and I believe I also tried to grade the pattern up as well (I hope that’s what happened anyway) and it was just a mess. The last time I went out to my mom’s, I snagged this skirt, which also happened to be made in a rather dubious fabric possible only intended for quilting, and today I attempted to remake it into something wearable.

I wanted to stick with the original pattern, so first I ripped all the seams apart. This I actually did weeks ago while watching TV or something. This afternoon I laid the pieces out along with the pattern pieces, which were cut in my proper size now, and realized I had to cut a little bit of fabric of each piece. So far, so good, right?

I stitches everything back together, opting to leave out the horribly mangled waistband piece. I made a new waistband. I put in the zipper. I tried it on. The first thing I noticed was that it was at least 3 inches too big in the waist. Not good, but fixable. The second thing I noticed was if I had put on a trash bag, it would have fit better. The skirt was bubbled and puffed and bulgy in places I don’t have bulges. I know there was supposed to be some fullness to this skirt because of the big front pleats but this was terrible.

I ran two quick lines of stitches down the sides, bringing in the waist and hips a few inches on each side, and tried it on again. It fit now, but it was still just awful. No way I could ever wear it without wanting to hide from shame, between the bad fit and the bad fabric. I ripped out the zipper, put it back with my other zippers, and threw thee whole skirt into bag I keep for collecting scraps for my friend Donna’s quilting projects. While I was at it, I also threw some pink and white fabric I got from my grandma that had been cut into a dress. At once point I was going to construct the dress she started, but only half the pieces are there. The pieces are small enough too I can’t do much with them, so into the bag they went.

In short, I’m terribly disappointed because I wanted a new piece of clothing t hang in my close today. But really, I think even if the skirt had fit nicely, I would have tossed it anyway. The fabric I used for it was bad, and I’d never have worn it. I’m going to cut myself a new ½ circle skirt this evening out of a nice black fabric with bright orange poppies on it, and I’ll take photos tomorrow to share with you.

italfabric-110x110Years and years ago, I had this fun (yet rather odd) novelty fabric. I was on a food-themed fabric kick, and decided to make a skirt. This is the fabric I used, along with McCall’s 5330 View B for the pattern. Its got bread, pasta, olive oil, cheese, grapes, and a few other things, with text in Italian. The pattern I decided to use was one I regretted afterwards, as my weight at the time gave me more of a belly than was good to have (is any belly good to have?) and the three box pleats at the front of the skirt accentuated the bulge. It just was not a good fit or a good style, and now that I’ve pulled it out of my closet at my mom’s, I’m also seeing what a fantastically bad job I did at sewing it. :sick:

Tonight I continued on my trek through my old sewing, tearing it almost all the way down, ripping out all the seams except for the center back one because it actually looks okay and I don’t think I’ll need to rip it out to make any real modifications. I did have to rip out the zipper though as I’ll have to re-size the waistband dramatically so it had to come off too.

I tried the skirt on before ripping it apart (but did I take photos of it before? Nope.) and its at least 2 full sizes too big, and those pleats in front are really uneven and just badly done. The plan is to take off about an inch from each edge of front and back at the sides, remove excess fabric from the waistband, cut a second waistband piece to sandwich this piece with and cut interfacing to match for added stability. I’m also going to redo the pleats, but not box pleats- just normal pleats- I don’t know what you would call them, so I can at last make them look good and even without a lot of fuss and bother. Either way, I am hoping to add another wearable skirt to my wardrobe before the weekend is over, though I’m not quite sure what I will wear with it. I do have one black tank top I think.

shelf

 

I also did some work on cleaning up and organizing my craft room Wednesday night. I bought (from Closetmate) a 6 foot shelf with the hanger rod below it and installed it all by myself. I’m especially proud of this because I only screwed it up a little, kind of smashing one of the wall mounts with the hammer, and setting another one about 1/3rd of an inch too low so its not really doing much unless I put some serious weight on the shelf. I’m currently waiting on some file boxes to arrive so I can organize my patterns that are for sale and stack them neatly on the shelf, along with all of my beading and sewing books and catalogs.

As of right now, the shelf has all of my books, but none of the catalogs on it, and that huge pile of clothes on the end of my sewing table are temporarily folded and stacked on the other end of the shelf. I’m hoping to find some plastic hangers for cheap at the thrift store this weekend so I can hang up the clothes I have listed for sale, as well as the clothing that are in various stages of repair or being re-made.

I’ve also spent some time in there doing some dusting and general cleaning, as the window doesn’t seal properly and a lot of dust and dirt ends up all over my beading table’s back edge.

s3673mockupI just picked up 3 yards of a gorgeous cranberry red corduroy fabric on eBay and am waiting for it to arrive now. What am I going to do with it? I threatened Mattie that I’d make pants out of it, but I think I have a better idea now.

This jumper dress (with the narrow skirt) would be great to do with that fabric! The bright color will be toned down a bit (I hope) but the simple lines of the dress, and paired with a long sleeved t-shirt, it will be great for winter. I will probably line the entire thing, though I’m not sure what with what fabric yet. Maybe something really out there to make it a little more secretly fun. No one ever sees the lining fabrics, but it could still be nice to use something really flashy in contrast to the solid outer color. I’m actually thinking maybe a gold color?

m5330mockupI also grabbed some gorgeous floral print fabric- an out of print Moda from the 80’s. I’m planning on making another, slightly shorter version of McCall’s 5330 to channel my inner 80’s girl. I think it could be really cute.

What else am I planning? I have this absolutely gorgeous red floral fabric I bought years ago. I originally bought it to make a dress out of, but either I was a lot smaller than I remember ever being or I dramatically mis-read how much fabric I would need for it because the piece I have is about enough to make a top and that’s it. I have a few pattern ideas in mind for it, but nothing definite as I’ll have to re-check the yardage and see what I actually can make with it. That project will probably wait for warmer weather though as the red floral, while gorgeous, is so light that its almost sheer.If I had made a dress form it it would have had to have been fully lined.

I also need to stop buying new fabrics when I have a ton in my craft room already!

McCall’s 5330 view A was one I cut back on September 5th, and I just tossed aside on my sewing table to get to “eventually.” One of the things I wanted to do over the next few weeks is get some serious sewing done. Yesterday I finished of my salvage project on the cherries skirt, and today was the day to finish M5330 view A.

I believe this pattern originally called for belt loops, and it also only had facings, not a full lining. I chose to skip the facings, and add a lining, as well as leave off the (possible?) belt loops. I almost never wear belts, and the few I actually own are more for decoration rather than usefulness.

I honestly have no idea how the construction went as per the directions. I’ve done a few patterns before where I added a full lining, and it basically amounts to sewing the garment twice, stitching the two sides together, leaving an opening for turning, turning, and then (for me) top stitching. The actual skirt only has three panels and a waistband- including the lining pieces, I had 7 pieces of fabric total, plus one piece of interfacing. With only a few pieces, construction was easy to wing, and I did. I had no hang-ups until I got to my favorite part.

Buttonholes. I hate them. With a passion. I have a really cool automatically buttonholer function on my sewing machine, but for the life of me, I cannot get it to work. If I’m lucky it does half of one side, then gives me an error that’s not in the manual, so really the only way to do them is mark the fabric and manually stitch a tight zigzag rectangle, and hope the butttonhole is the right length.

I actually got lucky, and I did get all but two spot on, and when I put the buttons on (those I can use the machine to do) I only had to reposition one of them in the process. The bottom two buttons could have been shifted a tiny bit- maybe 1/4”- but honestly once its on, you can’t really see where they don’t line up perfectly.

M5330-frontFront view on my dress form. I hadn’t tried it on me yet at this point, but it fit the form well, so I was confident it would fit me. I wasn’t disappointed when I tried it on.

m5330-rear

Back view on me. The fit is actually a lot better than I expected, and I will probably make this view again in the future out of a more summery fabric. Maybe a floral print to channel my inner 80’s girl?

All in all I am really pleased with the way this turned out, and the pattern envelope did not lie when it said “Easy” in large red script. This was a really easy one to complete, and I love that it lets me channel my nerdy library girl. 🙂