I’ve been rummaging my pattern stash, looking for something different to sew, because I’ve been so underwhelmed by pattern releases all year. And I have so many patterns that I can mash-up elements for something new. But I found one – I made this pattern way back in 2012, when it first appeared, and I thought it was a nice little dress. But I had some issues with it, for which I totally blame myself: I used polyester seersucker and lined it. It was incredibly hot and uncomfortable to wear – so I didn’t.
So I pulled out a cotton calico from JoAnns that I’ve been avoiding. I just don’t like the print! That’s awful, isn’t it, to blog about something one just doesn’t like? But I was thinking ‘muslin’ – I wanted to see if a calico, one of my favorite summer fabrics, would work.
|Got a little peek-a-boo going on…|
And actually, I quite like the calico. But as so often happens, I discovered a little problem with the pattern design: those kimono sleeves are big and might even look a top heavy on the dress. I didn’t feel that way about the seersucker version, which has more drape. But, hey, I’m not going to wear this in charmeuse, crepe, or jersey knit in 90+ degree weather!
Mr. Michael Phelps has nothing over me on wingspan… I’m loving the Rio Olympics!
So, I’m thinking about redrafting the arms – there’s plenty of fabric in them to play around. Why bother? Because I love the lines on the bodice and skirt…
About that peek-a-boo front. It’s really not ‘bad’, and a little cami-bra would add some modesty. I’m just feeling lazy this morning.
I redrafted the front on my original version, so that it has a 3.5″ crossover (info and pics in the first blog post). And this bodice is the same. Ah-hem – without the change, this bodice would be open to somewhere above my navel…which qualifies it for a very sexy nightie.
Just a couple sewing notes:
- The skirt is short – I didn’t add to it and barely managed a 3/4″ hem (I’m 5’7″).
- I don’t care for the suggested finish on the neckline, so I used self-fabric bias binding, finished to the outside for comfort. I used my favorite 1/4″ quilting foot, Juki foot P – it positions the needle at the perfect place for top-stitching the binding…
- OK, a gratuitous shot of favorite Juki feet. Mr. I, on the right, positions the needle 3/8″ from the fabric edge. How useful is that! I’ve collected about 60 feet from various machines, and this is the only true 3/8″ foot I have.
- Finishing the curve in the armhole – kimono sleeves can be tricky, kind of tight and awkward, and it’s nice to relax the curve. I sewed it with a 5/8″ seam allowance and trimmed it on the serger. Opening the curve (kind of pulling it backwards), as it goes under the needle, adds a little ease in the seam.
- The pattern has a self-fabric drawstring, inserted in a casing formed from the 7/8″ seam allowance at the skirt/bodice join. Kudos to McCalls for at least using a wider SA, something that’s often overlooked in other patterns. Nonetheless, I used a 1″ seam allowance, which gave me comfortable room in the casing – and I inserted 1/2″ knit elastic, no drawstring. IMHO it’s a little classier without it.
- And I added patch pockets across the side seams, 9.5″ wide and 7.5″ high (avoiding the floppy pocket bag of an in-seam pocket). Since this is a simple cotton, I didn’t line the pockets. But I did finish them on the inside.
|A bottom corner of the pocket|
The Zika virus is a very real concern in south Florida. Not every case gets in the news – it’s been reported just 10 miles south of me. And Weston is fogging and spraying. I can really see the results, as my butterfly population has gone from clouds of the lovelies to just 2 or 3. So – I’ve emptied some of my bird baths, and I clean/refresh the two larger ones every day. Mosquitoes hatch so quickly. We don’t get killing freezes down here, so the problem is likely to stick around…
Bye for now – Coco