M6697I first saw this pattern while browsing on eBay and I knew I had to have it in my collection. Shortly thereafter, I was shopping for fabrics to use in it. Unfortunately, the only two fabrics I could find at Joann’s when I went that were similar in stretch and weight were in purple and black. I had initially wanted something with more contrast between them but purple and black was an okay combination so I went with it. It looks good in the pattern envelope, so why not?

The pattern sat on my sewing table for a while- a few months. I kept picking it up in passing. I had the fabric. I had the pattern. But I still hadn’t made the dress. Finally yesterday I laid my fabric out to start cutting. I wasn’t thinking about how many panels this dress must have to make the stripes but once I started cutting I was wondering if the cutting was going to take all day- There were I think 10 panels in the dress I had to cut.

M6697Front

 

The actual construction went smoothly and easily. There’s not a lot to it besides making sure the pieces go in the right order, and There aren’t any even moderately difficult techniques used in this dress. You sew the front panels together, sew the back panels together, sew together at the shoulder and side seams, and then made a narrow hem at the arm- and neck-holes and hem the bottom. Sometimes I skip out on hemming the bottom on knits but this was dragging the ground a bit so I had to.

M6697Back

 

I really love how this turned out and the color combination worked really nicely. If this wasn’t such a stand out design because of the striping, I would make this again. Its super comfortable and I love it!

As you’ve seen, I’ve sewn McCalls 6173 a few times, both the pants view (twice) and the leggings view (once). I was disappointed with the leggings view as they just weren’t tight, but now I see it wasn’t the pattern’s fault but rather my fabric choice. I purchased some of this fancy athletic fabric to make some workout clothes, and while I had to make two orders to get the stuff (it sells out fast!) I was able to get cuts enough for two tank tops and two pairs of leggings. Well, I’m still waiting on one cut for a tank as the wrong item was sent out in its place last week, but I have confidence it will arrive soon.

Anyway, after I got the fabric, I was really pleased with how truly breathable it is, as advertised, and the really nice drape and stretch of the fabric. Its pretty much exactly as I had hoped, and better than I had expected. I made this tank right away and quickly cut the pieces for my leggings. The actual sewing for these takes about twenty minutes- they go together super fast!

M6173ViewBWorkout

 

As you can see, with no modifications except for cropping the length, they fit like leggings! I could maybe take them in a little around the knee but the fit is nearly spot-on on these now that I apparently have the right fabric. That was a super happy surprise to see. Of course when I cut them I forgot that I would want to add a few inches to the back waist because as another blogger said, us girls with some junk in the trunk need some more fabric back there. There is a slightly higher cut to the waist in the back than the front, but its hard to figure out which is which when you’re about to get dressed. I solved the guessing game by stitching a small rectangle into the waistband in the back so I can see at a glance which side is which. If I were cutting these again, I’d definitely add a few inches to the back waist but otherwise, still a favorite pattern for me right now.

I promised myself some new workout clothes next month, and I set aside $50 in my budget to buy and try some new athletics fabrics I found on Fabric.com. Of course while I was there, I ended up finding some neat stuff on clearance, so got a little more then intended there, and not as much of the athletics fabrics as I had planned. But hey! I stayed under my budget!

Simplicity 6816 View B I’ve sewn in a blue and blue polka dot fabric, and View C I just sewed the other day out of that white birds fabric.I think View A is the same as View B but with hemmed sleeves instead of bound and gathered. I’m not sure if I got the yellow burn out fabric or not- I went back to it right after I placed my order and it was sold out, so hoping I bought the last of it and I did get it. The orange fabric has an eyelet lace detailing in it, which I love.

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I also want to do either View A or a free pattern I found online in this cool red crochet lace I found. I am leaning towards the free pattern, but I’m not sure how much fabric it takes so we’ll see.

The tank top and cropped pants will be my new workout clothes. The pants are just the leggings pattern I’ve sewn a few times but shortened, and the tank top I’ve actually sewn twice before- once as is, and once with a cowl neck.

I’m trying really hard to sew things now that I can actually wear every day, not fancy stuff I will wear once or twice and that’s about it. What I really need are a few pairs of jeans but I’m terrified to start on them. Maybe I’ll get to that this month though. If I just start by cutting the pattern, hopefully it will follow from there. I actually have two cuts of stretch denim, and a cut of red corduroy, all of which I want to make pants out of. Maybe next month?

So I am pretty sure this is my new favorite pattern, at least for this week. I sewed View A as its supposed to be, then I sewed View A minus the flounce in white satin for the 80’s party, and this morning I sewed View A without the flounce again out of some black moleskin (?) fabric I had in my stash with no idea what to do with. I’m trying to use up some of the fabrics I already have before I buy more the beginning of next month. In May I’m planning on making some workout clothes with the nifty moisture-wicking fabrics I found at Fabric.com and I want room in my stash for anything I don’t use right away, and the fabrics I have stacked up on my tables right now.

M5184BlackFrontAnyway, here’s the latest version of McCalls 5184. I like it, but I did not stop to think about how bad of a dog hair magnet this fabric is going to be. Its going to be horrible… LOL. I added a few inches to the length like I did with the white version- this one got about 4″ added to it. Of course there is no give in this fabric so I have to remember to tug it down a bit before sitting. Thankfully most of my skirts are not this short!

 

 

You also might recognize the top I’m wearing as one of my 80’s Kwik Sew patterns I did last year (I think) from a tiny bit of fabric I thought I would never find a use for. Its one of my favorite tops now- so comfortable, airy, and the bright colors are fun. Its one of those tops I may find myself making again in time.

 

M5184BlackBackMy zipper almost went in perfectly the first time, but then I noticed a tiny edge of my interfacing (which is white) was visible where something wasn’t quite lined up right. This being black, it was super visible, so I had to rip out that side of the zipper and make adjustments to fix it. Still, overall the whole thing went super smoothly. I think I’m done with this pattern for now though and pretty sure I do not need any more skirts either way. Well, maybe a few long ones. I don’t have any maxi skirts.

 

I also spent a quick hour stitching up Simplicity 6816 View C, which is just a basic short-sleeved t-shirt. I remembered after sewing up I think it was View A before that these tops wind up a little short on me, so I added three inches to the bottom hem and it would up being hip length, which is perfect. I don’t have a photo of me in it yet, but here it is on one of my girls.

 

M5184BlackDogIts nothing fancy, just a simple scoop neck T, but I got to use some of the most hideous fabric in my stash (I bought 3 yards on clearance years ago) and it actually makes a good T-shirt. I was happily surprised. The pattern calls for binding on the neckline but I just hemmed it instead. I didn’t see how binding would really add anything to this top and since I really hate doing it…

I decided this year I will play along for Me Made May 2014. I thought about doing it last year but I really didn’t feel like I had enough me-mades to give it a real go. This year though! I took a count of my closet and I might be missing a few items but this is what I found.S6816ViewCFront

  • 13 shirts
  • 1 sweater dress
  • 9 skirts
  • 5 dresses
  • 1 formal dress + capelet
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 2 pairs pajama pants/shorts
  • 1 piece lingerie
  • 2 fleece jackets/capes
  • 1 belt
  • numerous purses

I’ve got at least 21 outfits without even thinking about it right there- that’s almost the full month just like that. I’m going to try to take a photo each day and show you everything at the end of the month, but no guarantees there. I most likely will not be wearing the jacket, cape, or the formal dress, but everything else will probably have a shot. One of the dresses needs to be taken in a bit, or even better disasembled and re-cut, but otherwise everything listed is in wearable condition.

Here’s my pledge:

I, Deb of http://debsinstitches.com/, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2013.

And here’s where you can sign up for Me Made May 2014 too!

I’m not going to promise to dress head to toe in my me-mades every day, but I will wear something. I’d also like to try to wear at least one piece of jewelry I’ve made each day as well. I have tons of it (and tons for sale!) so that should be no problem.

As you’ve seen, I’ve been working on a truly hideous, absolutely tacky gold lame’ blouse for an 80’s party we were invited to on the 3rd. I am using Kwik Sew 1262, and I posted pics a little way back of the shell without sleeves, but hadn’t gotten much further. Anyway, a few days ago I thankfully finished the blouse. Its not that it was a difficult pattern to sew, or that I was having trouble. Its that the gold lame’ fabric is horrible to work with, and it sheds tinsel everywhere. Anyway, I got it done but was stumped about what to do for my bottom half. Then my good friend Tracy suggested white vinyl for a skirt (I had already decided on a mini) and I was off to Walmart with my last $10 to see what they had. Turns out they only had browns and black vinyls, but I came home with some white satin instead.

ks1262front

 

I busted out the pattern I used for the skirt I sewed and posted about yesterday, and making a few small changes (I added 2.5″ to the hemline and completely lined it because my fabric was thinnish) and left off the flounce. I sewed my zipper in more than once but the final outcome is one i am very pleased with and it went in pretty much perfectly.

ks1262back

 

My entire outfit costs me less than $25 including the cost of the patterns, and only took about 2 hours total to sew them up.

I’ll be doing crimped hair, colorful make up and big bold jewelry, though I may still need to make my jewelry. The blouse is hideous. I will probably bury it in my closet and ignore it forever after this, but for the party, its just right. The skirt I will hopefully get to wear again, as I quite like it.

I just posted this skirt (McCalls 5184 View A) yesterday without the flounce and it was a micro-mini. That was fine and all but today I woke up and I wanted to try the skirt with with the flounce added, assuming I had enough fabric to do so. I just barely managed to cut the flounce from what was left, though I had to cut it in 4 pieces instead of two on the fold, but to say its a completely different skirt is an understatement!

M5184ViewARuffleFront2

Just ignore the dopey sunglasses. Its morning here and the sun was blinding me, so I put them on, though now I just look silly.

M5184ViewARuffleSide

 

 

This skirt should be about 4 inches longer, but I made a really deep hem on it to see how I liked the slightly shorter length. I may go in and trim it up and re-hem it, but maybe not. It doesn’t really matter either way.

M5184ViewARuffleKneel

 

The girls are big helpers when it comes to pictures. Sashi was really hoping I’d pick up her flat ball ad throw it but I don’t dare with the camera out there because she’ll probably knock it over.

M5184ViewARuffleSit2

 

Anyway, end feeling is I love the skirt. I love the fabric. And I love the style. It was fun in its short life as a micro-mini, but now I can actually sit comfortably, as well as bend over safely.

I will still be making a mini-skirt version of this for the 80’s party, but I will add about 2.5″ to the length of the skirt as it is without the ruffle. That will make it a little more decent, though still very 80’s. I’ll see you next time!

m5184Where have I been lately? I have all these plans for sewing but haven’t done much of anything. You know how that is? Anyway, we have an 80’s theme party we are going to the first weekend in May, and I’ve been having some struggles with getting my outfit ready. I have my blouse finished, which I will post another day (only I get my skirt that goes with it done) and that was its own mess and struggle.

Anyway today I stitched up a quick skirt using the pattern I am using for the skirt for the party to see how it fit and if I liked it. I used McCalls 5184 View A, but I left the ruffle off of the bottom to make it into a micro mini skirt. I new it would be short without the ruffle but I had no idea it would be this short.

The pattern is super easy to put together (the part of I did anyway) and literally took me an hour from the start of pinning the pattern down to the fabric to finishing the last stitching. The zipper went in almost perfectly, and the only thing I noted wasn’t quite right at the end was my waistband on one side at the zip ended up slightly deeper somehow, resulting in the two side coming together at the zip being a little uneven.

Despite the super short length, I really like this skirt. Its probably too young for me, but its not like everything in my wardrobe is like this. I think I can get away with wearing the occasional article like this.

Anyway, here it is. McCalls 5184 View A minus the ruffle.

m5184viewa-front

 

These shoes aren’t the best but they were the only black pair I could find, though in cooler weather I could wear this with leggings and boots.

m5184viewa-bent

 

I have no idea what I was bending over for but you can bet I will not be doing any of this in public where people can see me! There is literally 1″ of fabric covering my butt in this thing.

m5184viewa-back

 

My zipper is slightly visible here. I used a bright yellow one and all of my visible stitching is yellow as well.

Tomorrow I will be stitching up this pattern again just like this one, but in white satin. My friend Tracy suggested that I use white vinyl but I’m not going to have more money free before the date of the party, and WalMart only had icky browns and blacks. I went with the satin because it was affordable and available without driving across town (I’m almost out of gas). It’ll have to be doubled up as its a little too thin for a single layer, but it should work out fine.

I’ve posted a few projects in the last few months that have had either lousy pics, or mentioned things without any pictures at all. This afternoon my new camera arrived, and I was able to get a few quick photos of some of the stuff you really did not get to see before, so here’s a quick photo dump.

I’ll start with Simplicity 1612, View E, which was my prom party dress. I had posted photos from the party that the photographer took, but none of them really showcased my dress well. This dress turned out great except for some slightly wonkiness at the neckline, but that may have been caused by user error.

S1612ViewEFront

 

The back of this dress is fairly open, and ties at the neck. I had originally wanted to do the view with the twist back detail, but ended up falling in love with this one after seeing it sewn on another sewer’s blog.

S1612ViewEBack

 

One last shot. Look who needs to redo her nails! Whoops!

S1612ViewEFrontClose

 

Here’s McCall’s 6173, View A. I’ve sewn these pants before but wanted one more pair of them because they are so freaking comfortable. I’m totally channeling my inner Peg Bundy here, BTW. The shirt I’m wearing is Simplicity 7330, which was Mattie’s shirt for the prom party. One of these days I’m going to make my own because this shirt is really nice to wear.

M6173ViewAFront

 

Here’s the back view.

M6173ViewABack

 

I still have the complaint that these pants will never really be the leggings they are supposed to be, despite taking them in many inches from the mid-thigh down. They just don’t fit that closely at all.

Here’s Butterick 5169, View B. This is a nice fitted top and its very easy to wear. I can see this pairing well with quite a few things, and my only complaint is its a little too short for my tastes, so if I make it again, I’ll be adding 2″ to the length of it.

 

B5169ViewBFront-546x1024

And here’s the back view.

B5169ViewBBack

 

I think this top does a nice job of emphasizing my waist with the way it fits, although I did find it a bit odd that it only has vertical darts, no horizontal ones.

I also tried working with my polymer clay on my own the other day, only to find my toaster oven I had does not regulate its temperature at all, and my clay was burned completely black in less then three minutes, and the entire house was filled up with horrible smelling smoke. It took me over 30 minutes with the doors all open and a fan going to clear the air inside before me and the dogs could go back in again.

I’m hoping to pick up a toaster oven in the near future that actually works properly and having another go at it. Tracy keeps sending me all these fun looking ideas and I want to try some of them.

 

A while back I posted View B of this pattern McCall 6173 (here), finding that while the pattern was easy enough to put together once I had the right fabric, they were more skinny pants than leggings. I had cut the pieces for View A shortly after, but only just got around to stitching them up today. While View B has an elastic waist, View A has a zipper and waistband. It also has several darts, front and back. The real question of course, is does it make leggings as shown on the envelope? Nope. Not even close.

pantsThe fit around the waist, butt, and hips is comfortable and decent… for pants. I took an inch and a half from mid-thigh all the way down, and I still have skinny pants. I’d have to take a lot more of for leggings to appear out of this pattern, even though the zip-entry version is a better fit.

I honestly can’t imagine how much modifying I’d have to do to make these into leggings- I cut these as a large according to my waist measurement, but I almost think I’d have to cut a medium and tweak from there to get a true leggings fit. As you can see, they’re still baggy around the knee, and way too loose at the ankle for leggings.

I am really pleased with my fabric though I wish the zebra strips were a bit more obvious. They are in the weave of the fabric, and there’s no color differences, so you can only see them when the light hits just so. Oddly enough when I ordered the fabric, I was worried the stripes would be too obvious. Go figure. There’s also just the right amount of stretch and good stability in this fabric, and I feel like I made a good choice for these pants.

Will I make the other pair I had planned, and already bought fabric for? I think so. That pair is supposed to be this same view, so I anticipate a new pair of comfy (but skinny) pants in my future. This view of the pattern was super easy to work up, and it flew by, except for the part where I stitched a dart into the wrong side of the fabric.

I think I might work on Simplicity 1716 as mocked up here as well.

M6173BackFailI sewed these leggings twice today. Seriously. Twice. The first time I used a black rib knit which while I really liked, it was my least favorite of the fabrics I had purchased for this project. I’m glad I did because not only did they turn out horribly, but the fabric was all wrong- It had the right amount of stretch, but was much less stable than it needed to be, and as a result, well, I’m calling them the horror pants and thinking they might fast track into the garbage.

This was after I took them in by almost two inches everywhere- they are hugely baggy, and fit worse than sweatpants. They are definitely not leggings. I had cut an XL according to my waist measurement but apparently that was not the correct thing to do. I’m not even willing to wear these around the house as they are horrible! I feel like I should be shopping at Walmart while wearing them. Ugh!

I re-cut the pattern down to a L for the second try, and used a much more stable fabric. This time not only did they fit, but they are wearable, even outside of the house. Unfortunately, they still do not look like leggings, but instead look like skinny pants. I saw (after the fact) someone’s review on this pattern with suggestions for making them actually fit like leggings, and may adjust the fit down the legs a bit later on to follow my curves better. There’s a slight bagginess at the knee that just screams “Pants!” when wearing these, even when they otherwise fit.

M6173Front

 

As you can see, they fit. They aren’t totally embarrassing, and they don’t make me cringe. I can actually wear these and be comfortable. But they are still not leggings as is.

M6173Back