Monday, March 2, 2015

Drumroll Please (The unveiling of McCall's M7081)

I did it.  And I did it all on Saturday.  Well, I sewed it all up on Saturday - which is impressive.  I am thinking I need to cut out my fabric throughout the week more often, as then it involves less work over the weekend.

I finished my McCalls M7081 dress in 1 day of sewing.  And it wasn't too bad.  This faux wrap-dress is probably by far my favourite accomplishment.

So, without further adieu, here are some action photos.

Since I had already cut out all my fabric pieces and traced the pattern over the week - all I had to do was add in some of the clipped parts (for matching the pattern) and draw on the darts and pleat lines so I could sew them on.

The pattern itself had little dots (you can see it on the line for the dart) at the top, and then two matching dots along the widest part of the dart, all I did was poke a hole in my pattern piece, and then transfer the dots.  Using my small quilting ruler, I connected the dots with my fading pen.  The pen I use is for fabric marking.  It fades naturally after 12 hours.  I knew once I had marked on the darts, I had limited time to actually sew them before the pen all faded.  I found this helped me so much.  

The pen is clearer and easier to see than the tailors chalk I have in my arsenal.  It was easier to use a ruler with my fabric pen (than with chalk), and I knew it was going to fade away, so I wasn't afraid to mark the heck out of my fabric.  Also (unlike chalk) I wasn't afraid of it rubbing off.  It was a win win.

Another note - the construction of this top was different to what I've done when setting in sleves before.  This one, you actually sewed up the arms before attaching (including the seam  underneath), and then you set in the sleeves and sewed around the shoulder line.  As I knew the seams on my arms were going to sew, I took some extra time and did French Seams.  That way, when I roll up my slevees, I don't have raw fabric fraying and hanging around.  Very useful as I don't own a Serger.

For those that are new to sewing French seams work  by hiding away the raw edges.  First you pin together the garment wrong sides together (odd I know) and sew along your seams.  As this pattern has a seam allowance of 1.5cm I sewed along roughly around 6cm.  I then trim my edges, fold back over so that you are pinning as if you didn't do the first sewing.  pinning together with the sewn edge at the outside, you sew along again.  I did it again at roughly 7cm.  This way, you are sewing the raw edge into a little...chamber, hidden from the everyday eye.  It give a really clean finish to the seams, and I always feel like my seams are double strong, as I've sewn them twice.  

And there it is!

There are a few things which I am super proud about.  

1) the collar.  I have gotten myself stuck on so many collars before this, finishing it, and finishing it nicely was SUCH a good feeling of achievement.

2) Those sleeves.  The embellishment of the button and the fold up makes it feel like such a professionally sewing RTW garment.  I haven't added these things to my sewn items before

3) That waistband.  When I was constructing the top, and trying it on, I first tried it on without the second piece of the waistband.  I never knew how much difference a piece of interfacing waistband can make.  It totally pulls the dress together.

And here it is on.  

I'm sorry for the crappy photos, but I was rushing this morning to get to work.

 Small bit of crass - this dress makes my bust area look big.  Bigger than normal.  I think its a trait of the faux wrap.  Really accentuates the god given gifts.

Things I still need to work on?  Invisible zips.  Ugh.  BE INVISIBLE.  One day.

So there it is.  My faux wrap dress in all it's glory.

I might be watching too much Mad Men, as I truly feel like a 1950s/1960s gorgeous housewife in this dress.  I think its the nipped in waist and full skirt.



  1. Can I ask what type of tracing paper you are using? It looks quite substantial.

    1. Absolutely - I found it on Amazon (and have ordered it from there) It is this

      The paper is about as wide as an A4 sheet of paper, so I do have to tape some pieces together sometimes (for the skirt of the dress I needed to tape together 2 pieces of paper). But it is quite thick (though also quite see transparent) - and it means I can preserve all my tissue paper!

  2. Oooooh love the dress!! Totally know what you mean about watching too much Mad Men!! Think I may have to invest in some of this tracing paper, still trying out different transfer methods for patterns.

    1. Although it takes a little more time, I really enjoy tracing out my pattern, that way all that tissue paper gets saved in case I ever need to make it again, but in a different size. I always think it would be a real shame to chop into the tissue and then have to buy it again if I make a silly mistake!

      I've recently been cutting the tissue, and then using pattern weights, my rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut out my patterns. Then depending on what the pattern requires, I've been using my air-fade pen, to transfer the markings (such as darts and little dots for stitch stopping and starting. It shows up clearer for me than chalk, and the chalk can be a pain sometimes. I also have the carbon paper and tracing wheel, but i sometimes can BARELY make out the pattern when I remove my tissue paper...and that's just frustrating!

  3. wonderful faux wrap-dress. You look very nice.

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