Blue Crush: McCall’s 6754

You know those moments in sewing when you come across a pattern that you just know is going to be a winner? I love those moments.

McCall’s 6754 came out a while ago, but has been in my mind for a while. Enter a pattern sale and some lovely versions from Sewn by Ashley on Instagram and her blog. I also found an amazing striped version by Bobbins and Whimsy that I need in my life. Not to mention the countless other gorgeous versions out there.

Let’s just say the pattern went to the top of my list pretty quickly. I’ve also been feeling like I haven’t found my perfect knit dress pattern. I sewed a lot of Colette Monetas last year, but none of them have really been permanent fixtures in my wardrobe, except for maybe the gold spandex one, which I wear often on nights out. My issue with the dress is the clear elastic. After wearing it for a bit, I find the elastic irritating. It’s fine for a night out to see a show or dance in, but not for a full day sadly. I’ve thought of using different elastic for it, but overall I’ve realized I am just not a fan of the dress. Last year, it served as my gateway drug back into sewing, but this year my skills are better and I realize how many fit issues I have with that pattern. The neckline never quite fit me right and the armholes bunched at the top of the bust. I’ve also sewn the Colette Myrtle and the Bluegingerdoll Violet dress. Neither of them are my perfect knit dress. I like both of them and wear my versions often, but I haven’t had a desire to sew a bunch more of them. Although, Mary’s recent Myrtle dresses make me want more! I have to go hunting for a lovely drapey rayon knit similar to my recent comfy womfy dress.

My favourite styles of knit dresses are always ones with two things: princess seams and circle skirts.

I own/owned a bunch of Modcloth dresses like this:

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I have it in a mint and coral colourway. I used to have it in purple, but sadly I did the typical Andie thing and stained it horribly. There are raglan sleeves there, princess seams, and the skirt is a circle skirt. It’s perfect. I am not a fan of the waistband, though. I have belts for that.

The only thing is that I don’t wear them that often to work, because that v dips quite low.If I wear them to work, I usually button up a cardigan and toss on a scarf to keep the cleavage under wraps.

Outside of work, I could not care less. Cleavage is a wonderful thing!

M6754 was destined to be a favourite knit pattern. In view D, the dress has raglan sleeves, princess seams, and a circle skirt. In view B, the dress has no sleeve, bust darts, and a circle skirt. Both view B and D for the dress have a great shape to them and are perfect for what I wanted in a knit dress. The pattern also calls for elastic at the waist. I am not entirely sure that I will make view A or C, the peplum tops, but you never know.

My main issue with Big 4 knit patterns, however, is the amount of ease in them. I haven’t come across one that uses negative ease yet. Size down. Waaaay down.

I have a muslin of view D in the works, like I had planned out, but I set it aside for the moment due to fit issues and chose to make view B instead. Lately, I haven’t been able to stick to my plans. It’s completely outside my norm. I usually sew according to a plan and occasionally sew outside of that with pattern testing or other things that come around. Overall, though, the plan is what guides me. Not lately. I’ve decided to not really plan out my fall sewing because of that. I will be taking part in FESA again this year, but I will categorize my sewing projects as I go (this being a fabulous frock!) and won’t be doing a planning post. I still find it useful to do an end of season round up.

View B turned out lovely. The dress is a really fast sew and goes together well. I made the size XL. My measurements are pretty far outside what this size calls for. XL bust ranges from 42-44 inches, but my bust is 50 inches. You’ll have to do a bit of thinking when choosing your size. I chose my size based on my high bust measurement and the fact that view D in XXL ended up pretty large.

The fabric for the dress is a polyester quilted knit. It’s a heavier weight fabric and great for the transition weather we are going through. Some days it’s fall weather here and other days it’s summer weather. I chose to make the sleeveless version because of the unpredictable weather. I sewed the whole thing on my serger except for topstitching the bands, which was done on my machine. I finished the hem by serging it.

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The pattern doesn’t call for bands for the neck or arms, but it’s my preference to have these rather than not. Unfortunately, the fabric doesn’t really have great recovery and the bands got stretched out from sewing them, ripping them out, shortening them, and then sewing them again. I’m just not willing to rip them out again. They mostly sit flat except at the back and a little at the front above my cleavage. Oh well!

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Here are the insides. They look pretty good. For my next version, I will need to raise the neckline and do a narrow shoulder adjustment. I had to get rid of a couple of inches from the top of the shoulder. The straps fall down and that means I will have to do some other adjustments.

Enough about the pattern, here are pictures! One features my recent Jenna Cardi in white.

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: M6754
  • Pros: Super fast pattern. Great shape and style.
  • Cons: Runs really large. No negative ease whatsoever! Size down significantly. Star lost for this reason only.
  • Make again?: Definitely. Possibly make far too many!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars

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Agent of Love and Exams, the pretty sailor suited soldier Sailor Mercury!

This is a post about a bra.

I grew up with the English dubbed version of Sailor Moon. It was my favourite show and I would watch it endlessly. This was before we could download shows or stream them. I taped tons of Sailor Moon and ran home at various time from school to watch. I was 15/16 when I first started watching. We got the internet around the same time and I discovered that the English dubbed version was pretty different from the Japanese version. Eventually I read the manga and got to watch the Japanese version. I bought Sailor Moon everything and became a hardcore fan.

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At 15/16, I bought all of the Sailor Moon mini palaces including the larger moon kingdom palace above. Little chibi Sailor Scouts were a favourite of mine. Sadly, I have nothing left from this era. I loved this stuff, though.

I wasn’t a popular kid growing up. I was a bookworm. Naturally, Sailor Mercury was my favourite. She could kick ass and still get her assignments in on time.

There’s something about the Sailor Scouts for me. The idea of being a young woman and being assertive and strong resonated with me. The show gave me a lot of strength and repaired a lot of my feelings about vulnerability. I wasn’t going to be the victim anymore. I started standing up to bullies and really became the strong woman I am today.

I have been watching the new Sailor Moon Crystal series. I actually really love it. I’m not that far in, though, because the wedding distracting me. I need to catch up!

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The bra’s colours instantly reminded me of Sailor Mercury along with the oversized bow. I named her Sailor Mercury and she’s a beauty and strong. I put the bigger bra lower so it wouldn’t be bumpy under whatever dress I am wearing.

This is my best fitting bra yet. I will be tweaking the fit a bit more and more as I make more, but I’m pretty satisfied with this one. It’s super comfortable to wear and has a nice shape and lift.

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I’ve gotten mostly rid of the bulk problem in the bottom seam. There is the tiniest of bumps left. I’m going to ask about sheer nylon stabilizers when I am at Bra-Maker’s Supply in a couple of weeks. This should help reduce the bulk in the seam, but make sure I still get the appropriate support.

For this bra, I increased the lower cup a little more and increased the bottom seam of the upper cup. The seam between the two lower cups now sits where it should at the apex. Before the seam wasn’t quite there and definitely contributed to an odd shape. I think for the next one I will increase the upper cup just slightly, because there is still a tiny bit of flatness in the seam between the upper and lower cups. I also increased the band by a little more than a 1/4 on each side. A little bit more than a 1/2 inch in total. I can’t quite remember the amount to be honest. That’s why I am being vague. That was just enough to make it a lot more comfortable for me. My other two are a little bit too tight. I can wear them okay, but after a day my sides pinch a little bit. This one, though, perfection. A bra should be so comfortable that you barely notice that you have it on.

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I did a much better job with the straps and hook and eye than I have in the past. The stitching is still not perfect and my machine skipped a couple of stitches, but it’s getting there! They look kind of wonky in the picture above and don’t appear to sit correctly, but on me they scoop perfectly down to the hook/eye and sit very flat. I don’t think I will be working up my nerve to show you a picture of me in these bras. My day job would have a fit about that if it ever got back to them. The back looks great, though, take my word for it.

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I did a much better job of making the bridge look nice at the top of the cups. I extended the channeling and used that to cover the raw edges. It also nicely lends a bit more structure to the lace at the top and will help it last.

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I also lined the lace! I used stretch mesh with spandex from BMS. It’s definitely going to preserve the stretch lace.

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Speaking of the lace, I took the lace off of a nightgown that I had used for a cosplay project last year. The upper part of the nightgown wasn’t needed so I cut it off. The large bow also comes from the nightgown. I made the smaller bows on the straps using the fork method.

The teal blue fabric is duoplex and the band is white power net. Elastic findings are a kit. All these are from BMS.

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The insides of my bras are starting to look at lot better. I would still like a way to make the raw edge of the lace look better though. I will be asking about that at BMS.

The final touch I made for this bra was to officially make it Sailor Mercury:

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On the right strap at the back, I embroidered a tiny Sailor Mercury symbol to let my geek subtly shine through. Now I have to make sure my strap is showing! 😉

This is my favourite bra yet. I’ll probably be saying that for sew many bras in the future! I have planned out three more bras in terms of fabric combinations and named two with the help of Instagram! I need your help for the last one. 🙂

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Ruby: Black duoplex/elastics/powernet with red lace. Thanks to Maris for naming this one!

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Black Raspberry: Black cherry duoplex, dusty rose lace, black power net/elastics, and grey ribbons. Thanks to Elizabeth for naming this one!

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Help me name this one!

Fuschia and lilac lace from Arte Crafts, fuschia duoplex, and lilac findings kit.

Update: The name was randomly chosen! Thanks Nicole for Desert Sunset. 🙂

It’s Lingerie Month over at the Sewcialists blog. Will you be taking part and posting your project to the flickr group for the round up post? I’m definitely posting this!

Spring Sewing Round up + Summer Sewing Plans

It’s a week before the weddddding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Yeay!

I also recently got this lovely bundle in the mail from Jenny at Cashmerette!

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She had a giveaway on her blog and I won it. 😀

I think the panel of fabric is screaming to become a cute mini-quilt for a wall hanging.

Okay, excitement is high here, but I do have some Summer sewing plans for after the wedding and wanted to post a roundup of my Spring sewing.

Spring Sewing Roundup

1. Outerwear:

I made two M7100 bomber jackets as planned (click the pictures for links to the entries):

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And spent most of the Spring wearing them every day. We have had a strange Spring here. Usually by this time in Toronto, we have weather that is over 20 degrees and less rain. This Spring is weather anywhere between 10 degrees and 30 degrees and tons of rain. It’s crazy. I never know how to dress so having these jackets is perfect.

2. Men’s clothes:

I want to formally apologize to my husband-to-be for neglecting him yet again in this area.

3. Dresses:

I made a few dresses:

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I haven’t blogged about the striped dress yet. I keep spilling coffee on myself before I get pictures taken! At this point, too, it’s definitely going to be a post-wedding entry…

I never made anything for Indie Pattern Month, sadly. Oh well, I’ll be able to participate next year. Not the million dress I planned, but enough.

I also made my wedding dress, but you have to wait until July to see that.

I made a flower girl dress. So cute! Not my size, though. 😉 Darn.

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4. Tops:

I didn’t make the top I planned (M7094) but I did make two JVL Bronte tops:

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5. Lingerie

I made two bras from my cloned Elomi bra pattern!! Neither of these are blogged about, but I will be doing that before the wedding.

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Summer Sewing Plans

1. Outerwear:

I did not get to the raincoat with the Spring sewing, but I will get that raincoat made this summer. I didn’t get to it, because of a minor alteration on the sleeves and basically just wanted to sew up projects I knew would be easy. As a reminder, these are the fabrics and the pattern I plan to use:

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M6517:

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I decided to sketch it out for fun!

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I’m using my Curvy Sketchbook from Cashmerette.

2. Men’s clothes:

I swear I will get this done. I already have the first version cut out in a black cotton. It will be Simplicity 1544:

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View A with just the collar stay and not the full collar in black cotton from a local store.

Other than that, I am making him some boxer shorts, but I will not be posting them here. I can post my underwear without issue, but not other people’s.

3. Lingerie:

On the heels of two more successful bras, I want to make all the bras! I have enough of the fuchsia duoplex to make another bra and this time I will be using pink and purple elastics/findings. I will also be making two in turquoise fabric. One is planning with white lace and blue elastics/findings. I have yet to find a lace for the second version, but I am leaning toward hot pink or something else crazy and loud with black elastics/findings. Black powernet for both. Although, I might “harvest” my first bra for white powernet for the turquoise bra, but I haven’t decided yet. I may also just get some white powernet since I need more underwires anyway.

Here are some of my fabrics:

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I also have plans for some funky strapping across the front of the fuchsia one, like this bra:

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The straps would replace the stretch lace in the upper cup… We’ll see if that ends up being something I make… Or even something that will work…

4. Dresses:

Now that it is summer. I want to make all the dresses ever. I have started sketching a couple with my Curvy Sketchbook.

a) B6210 in the same stripe fabric as I’ve used before:

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b) For the Outfit Along, I am planning to make the Embrace wrap cardigan in a mint green wool/acrylic blend from Ice Yarn and M6887 in a lovely apple fabric with a light blue lining and mint green bias tape accents:

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The knit wrap cardigan is the Embrace pattern. It’s available for free on Ravelry.

c) Decades of Style ESP Dress in Wonder Woman fabric:

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d) Muse Patterns’ Melissa dress in a mint green floral print with forest green accents on the front v pockets and the sleeves, and an ivory lace insert on the back V:

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e) I currently have another M6696 all cut out and ready to be sewn using these fabrics and buttons:

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The plan for this is to have sleeves that turn up with a cuff and button tabs with the green flower buttons. We’ll see if that works out! 🙂

5. Shorts:

I don’t really know whether this will happen or not. To be honest, I almost didn’t put it on the list, but if I try this and fail, I still want to write about what happened. I’m not a fan of shorts or pants. You see me wear leggings with dresses and I get by okay all year round. The thickness of the leggings just change based on the weather.

I’m not sure of the pattern. I know I want them to be bermuda length (knee-length), though, anything shorter and I won’t feel comfortable wearing them. I have Green Style Taylor Shorts and Ginger Jeans in my pdf patterns. I also have M5894, a jeans pattern, in my paper pattern stash and that one is the closet in terms of sizing for me. I just discovered a new pattern that is yet to be released from Itch to Stitch called the Angelia Shorts. I saw a version over on the Monthly Stitch and really loved them. They aren’t really in my size range, though. I like the idea of adapting M5894 into a bermuda length with a draw string and making them in a lightweight pant material. We’ll see what happens here. If anyone knows of a pattern like the Itch to Stitch that is in a 24W or higher (there are tons with an elastic waist, but that isn’t what I am looking for at all), please let me know!

I have no sketches of this yet as I am just mulling it over…

6. Swimming:

This venture really depends on whether I can find a good swimsuit fabric that I like. I haven’t found any yet; although, I can make the first version in cheap fabric to check fit and figure the bra issue. I will be making B5795 in view B for the top and view F for the bottoms:

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The bottoms will be made in a solid colour, because I want to make a few and have them interchangeable for the tops. I would also like a few bottoms in boy shorts, too. The tops are going to be prints with the princess seams on the front in solid colours. There will also be a foam bra insert using my bra pattern so I will be changing the back a little bit so it dips lower and has an elastic band and a swim clasp.

I’ve sketched out the concept here:

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The bottoms have drawstring ties in the picture. Not sure if I want to do that yet.

Along with swimsuits, I also have plans for a swim cover up, using the free Medina mini-kaftan pattern from Hot Patterns on fabric.com I’d like it in the white island breeze gauze on fabric.com for the main fabric and a fluorescent cotton for the contrast. A store near me sells a few fluorescent cottons that I want to snag for this. I’m thinking hot pink for the neckline and orange or yellow for the sleeves/bottom. I love colour blocking like that, because I know the orange/yellow won’t work near my face in terms of my complexion, but it will be fine on the sleeves or bottom of the cover up.

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I plan on going to the aquatic centre near my home for a drop-in class of aquafit or for the non-lane swim times. My post-wedding plans are to increase my fitness in low-impact ways. So that means yoga, swimming, light stretching at home, and some strength training at home, too. With my fibromyalgia, I can’t really do anything that leads to a flare up so that means I do smaller things and get fit in different ways.

I find it funny that most people try to lose weight for a wedding. How can anyone handle that with all the other stress? I plan on focusing on getting fit after the wedding. 🙂 I’m not purely focused on losing weight, but more on making sure I am getting my body to a better place in fitness. Not being in pain all the time will hopefully be a result of this.

I could write out more that I want to sew, but I’m trying to limit my planning a bit more. I tend to be pretty ambitious. I also want to focus on slower projects and make interesting details for them.

What are your summer sewing plans?

Put a bird on it! M7100 Bomber Jacket

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Today I am sharing another challenge-related garment with you. Two in two days, what?! It’s the end of the month rush, y’all!

I made McCall’s 7100 bomber jacket in a loose weave houndstooth I got from the thrift store months ago. When I picked up the fabric, I had just gotten the pattern in the mail and immediately wanted to make it up. Of course, it being a more Spring jacket, I put it off. The middle of winter and the horribly cold winter we had did not make for me wanting to make a Spring jacket. And then Spring hit and I scrambled to make a Spring jacket, because I didn’t have one.

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Unfortunately, the major issue with how loose the weave is in this fabric is that it also unravels so easily! I serged the entire jacket (except the welt pockets and zipper/facing). I am considering going back and binding all the seams with bias tape to prevent further unraveling, but that seems like too much work. I just zigzagged over the small holes and other seams where it looked a little like it would be creating a hole. I think I will just keep my eye out for another lightweight houndstooth or jacket material to make another and then just put the patches on that one.

I decided not to adjust the fit and I also cut out two at the same time. I should have maybe held off on cutting out the second one. Lesson learned. I trusted that the finished garment measurements would look fine on me. D’oy!

This version looks okay, but my other version is in a heavier weight fabric (a stretch floral denim, pictured below) and the stretch didn’t really help at all….

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FBA if I ever make a third!

I do love this jacket, though.

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For the Put a Bird on it Challenge with Monthly Stitch, I bought iron-on patches from an etsy seller, Tattooit, for the back shoulders. I love the look. If I didn’t already have shoulder tattoos, I might consider getting some birds.

Construction of the jacket went well. It was my first time making welt pockets. Although, I feel like these aren’t as complicated as some types of welt pockets.

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I think they look pretty good.

The instructions for putting in the bottom band were minimal and could have used a little more explanation for me. As a result, the bottom band is a little wonky where it meets the tabs at the bottom in both my versions. In fact, my second version is in the naughty corner currently to sit and contemplate about breaking my serging needle and not cooperating for the bottom band. Bad bomber jacket! I’ll show you it eventually.

Here is my photoshoot where I am oddly in half sun or shade, because I took these after my walk home from work and was a little sleepy and out of it? Enjoy!

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I am wearing a dress from eShakti underneath.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: McCall’s 7100
  • Pros: Welt pockets, raglan sleeves, princess seams, tons of possibilities for colour-blocking.
  • Cons: The instructions for sewing in the bottom band are minimal and can be very fiddly because of the bottom tabs and the facing.
  • Make again?: Currently have a second one 90% done.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars

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