Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Officially Sewing For Fall

It happens every year about this time. It's hot a blazes outside, a beautiful fall fabric catches my eye, and I get wistful for that first cold snap. I know...I on the Gulf Coast we have a long wait for that day, so the next best thing is just to start sewing for it, right?
McCall's 6801 is my new favorite dress pattern! It was easy to put together, fits great and has several great looks within one pattern.

I especially love the sweetheart neckline created by the two bodice drapes that cross:

And the amount of ruching front and back which I think is flattering to almost everyone:

And since we must be seen from behind by everyone else!

Read my complete Pattern Review here for my adventures in using my ruffler attachment to ruch this particular fabric.

I love my new dress and my new favorite pattern!

Thanks for stopping by! Are you sewing for fall yet?

Monday, August 12, 2013

One Good Grainline Deserves Another

 Having made 6 of my 12 Grainline Studio's Archer shirts in Julie Starr's fun sew-along, I decided to give the Grainline Moss a whirl. I love it!
The pattern is downloadable and comes in two lengths, a mini-skirt and a longer version that has a bottom band creating extra length. I made the extended version and it is still pretty short! I may lengthen it a little bit next time.
This first Moss I made as a muslin and since I achieved glove-fit right out of the envelope, or I should say right off the printer, it is most certainly a wearable muslin. My first Archer shirt, shown above, has a great hot pink in it and so I made this skirt specifically with it in mind, and used hot pink topstitching:

This skirt, like the Archer shirt, lends itself to a myriad of design possibilities with different fabric, topstitching- more, less or none, color blocking with the bottom band and a whole lot of other ideas that were swimming around in my head as I was working on it. Hmmm...wonder if a "12 Months of Grainline Studios Moss Skirt" sew-along is lurking around out there!
In my quest to continue learning new techniques I tried Grainline's method of fly zipper insertion and I really liked it. 

I did have some fun with contrast cotton for the pocket bags and fly shield:

My takeaway is that Grainline Studio patterns are exceptionally well drafted and a pleasure to sew. I have found their sizing to be right on with RTW in both the Archer shirt and the Moss skirt.

Here is my complete pattern review:
Pattern Description: A semi-fitted mini skirt with optional band at hem. Skirt features a fly front and button closure as well as a yoke at the back. Techniques involved include straight and curved seams, inserting a fly front zipper and basic hemming. Pattern is nested to facilitate cutting between sizes, if necessary. Downloadable version only.
Pattern Sizing:
0-18 I find Grainline Studio's sizing to be right on with RTW. I made the longer version skirt in size 6.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions are excellent. I only veered from them a few times.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Method of fly zipper insertion, drafted to perfection, inclusion of a fly shield, the pattern is drafted such that the pockets have just a little room for your hands and yet there is no gap at the hip when they're empty. I like the bottom band treatment that has a finished hem when completed.
If I have a dislike it is only that the longer version is still pretty short! I may lengthen it some next time but I made this one for a muslin and will certainly wear it as is. No major dislikes.
Fabric Used:
A denim weight cotton/spandex.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
My changes were minimal. The 6 fit me straight off the page. I did some additional seam finishing and topstitching. I topstitched down the banded hem (at the top part of the band) rather than slip stitching by hand. I used a lot of Wonder Tape at the zip rather than basting. I used a skirt hook at the waist to fasten rather than a button because I didn't want a button interfering with a belt if I choose to wear one. I used a contrast cotton for the pocket liners and fly shield.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I see many more of these in my future and I definitely recommend it.
Both of the Grainline Studio patterns I have sewn so far have been a joy to work with because they are so beautifully drafted. It really makes me wonder how the Big 4, who've been around since before most of us were born, can get so sloppy with the patterns that come off their drawing boards. Hats off to these indie pattern makers that are giving them a run for their money.