McCalls 6461 – A sea life cardigan

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What could be better than marine creatures all over a cardigan! I fell for this cotton knit fabric the moment I saw it on Girl Charlee, way back in May, and I grabbed both prints in this colorway. I was lucky – the Sea Life print is gone, and only a few yards remain of the Hideway Flowers.

Fresh Produce
100% cotton, 8.5 oz, 58″ wide, 20% stretch 

Girl Charlee’s description: From designer clothing line Fresh Produce comes this high quality garment dyed botanical floral print cotton jersey knit…Fabric is pre-shrunk, soft, …medium weight with a small stretch. 

It really is pretty beefy and is very similar to lightweight French terry knit. Cute, right?

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m6461 line art

So, back to the cardigan, one of my favorite patterns of all time, McCalls 6461. This is the 5th time I’ve sewn a variation of View C, and bad on me, I’ve never written about it.

Sad part – it’s out of print, but I see it on Ebay and Etsy from time to time.

The pattern is simple: cut-on sleeves and a hemmed neckline. I’ve always squared off the front edges, which makes it even easier to sew. For this version, rather than hem the neckline, I decided to attach a 1″ wide neckband.

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Notes on the neckband:

  • I trimmed 5/8″ off the neckline all the way around, and reshaped the back neckline to be a little concave.
  • I have very square/level shoulders, so I also adjusted the fit before I added the neckband.
  • I cut a 4″ wide neckband with the grainline along the length of the band, not across it. And folded it in half, wrong sides together, and serged it to the neckline.
  • Suggestion: if you piece a neckband, use a diagonal seam to reduce bulk and ‘hide’ the seam.

neckband seam

  • Other changes for this version: I added 2″ to the length and used 3/4 length sleeves.

More pics!

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Leggings: Love Notions Sabrina Slims in cotton/lycra jersey.

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Here’s a pic of version I sewed in 2014 and still enjoy wearing. It’s a very light and stretchy tri-blend cotton jersey, so I simply hemmed the neckline.

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And a muslin I did recently, using View B. I’m thinking it would make a great shrug to wear over sleeveless dresses. Ignore the fabric please – it’s French terry and is way too heavy for the bottom curve.

shrug muslin

I’m so pleased with this cardigan and with the success of the neckband 🙂

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Ciao! Coco

 

After the fall…the way back

lady of leisure

Doing  better after falling a couple weeks ago! And showing the ‘good’ side of my face. The other side and the back of my left hand are still bandaged. But…it takes time.

A small post, but just look at that cute Charlie Caftan. I was totally inspired by Sue at ‘A Colourful Canvas’. Her pink plaid Charlie, posted way back in June, just gripped my heart… I spent hours online looking for a pink plaid fabric.

And I found it at Fabric Mart, mine is a cotton plaid jacquard shirting. Serendipitous. This pic is from ages ago, because I never did take a full set of pics of this version of the Charlie Caftan. My bad, but I have so many versions now.  I just love the pattern.

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A link here

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I’m feeling better, and I’ve started sewing again. I’m working on a long cardigan, based on McCalls 6461. On Emile…

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Fabric: Fresh Produce Sea Life Charcoal Black Cotton Jersey Knit  from Girl Charlee

And a pic of my lovely view, calm and peaceful, from the porch.

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Bye for now – Coco

Tessuti Megan Cardigan – first version

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Yes, it’s the middle of summer, and a cardigan evokes fall sewing. But – the stores are so cold, especially the grocery market! I always put on a sweater or shawl to go in that freezer joint. One day in December, I didn’t have one with me, and my Raynauds Syndrome sent me a swift kick.

Photo12101024_1Since then, I’ve been messing around with long cardigan patterns, with the intention of making one in black ponte and keeping it in the car.

After my disappointment with my self-drafted version (here), lots of you suggested the Megan Cardigan. It really is cute, and I like the pointed side seam detail.

Here’s the line art, such as it is, and the cardigan does NOT look like this…but it’s close. Sort of. lineartA few sewing notes:

  • Based on my measurements, I sewed the size Medium. And it was a silly mistake.  I used a rayon/nylon/spandex ponte de roma, which is very stable. It has very little horizontal stretch and no vertical stretch –  I should have gone up a size. My cardigan is a little small, tight in the arms and across the back – sigh. But it will be gifted, and I’ll make another in size Large.
  • Having only 2 yards of fabric, I shortened the pattern by 4″, and, honestly, I think I prefer this length.

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  • Many people have mentioned that the very narrow neckband is a bit fiddly to attach.  I used an unfinished width of 2.5″, which finishes at about 7/8″ wide. Thanks, everyone, for the heads up!upper front
  • I didn’t use the pattern instructions for hemming and finishing the bottom edge of the band – I think this looks pretty sloppy:

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Instead, I  hemmed the cardi first, and then attached the finished band. IMHO, the result is less bulky and much nicer.

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  • Other than the topstitching, I sewed the whole thing on the serger, 2 needles. What a fun little project – it has just enough going on to keep it interesting.

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Bye for now! Coco

Bits, bobs, and busts…

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A little catch-up on things I’ve been making, but haven’t blogged. Some are repeats and some are just the normal flow of muslins and messes!

The first one, above, is a second version of Vogue 1297, the Sandra Betzina Lagenlook knit dress (first one here). I love this. The fabric is from Girl Charlee – it’s a lightweight (7 oz) cotton/rayon/lycra blend. And it has all my favorite places to visit! The ladies at JoAnn’s were very complimentary and put my ‘business card’ on their bulletin board. I was so surprised – that really felt good.

Another repeat, this time of the StyleArc Toni Designer Dress. As with my first version, I used rayon crepe from Fabric Mart. The only change is a slight extension of the sleeve, to hide a bit more of my ancient upper arms… Great pattern.

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Turning to follow-ups on recent adventures, the Weird Science pants (Vogue 1453) really did make nice PJ bottoms, once I removed the ankle pleats. I added a topper based on the Wiksten tank. Both are in a very lightweight rayon/spandex French terry from Fabric.com – perfect for cool weather.

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I continued to work on my Lagenlook cardigan, my attempt to copy McCalls 6168. Here’s my first version…

cocos-lagenlook-cardi

And I think I ruined it! I raised the center front and back a couple inches, which deepened the side detail. But I like my original much better, and plan to make another in ponte di roma (have you seen the beautiful and affordable new pontes at Cali Fabrics?).

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Not everything is a repeat. I also tried out a new pattern, the Frankie Dress from Tessuti Fabrics. It looks so cute in their version – fresh and easy to wear. It’s also very similar to about 4 other patterns I already have, but it’s fun to sew something new. This time I knew I would get a hand-drawn pattern, because it’s my 3rd Tessuti acquisition. Yes, the clumsy line art below is a precursor of the pattern.

frankie-line-art

I used a grey and brown cotton/rayon/poly jersey from Girl Charlee, a nice weight at 7 oz. I don’t like the color combo very much, so it was a good choice for a muslin. The only change I made (kind of major, really) was redraft the entire bodice and sleeve using a pattern that fits me well. Tessuti’s armscyes are small, and the sleeves are narrow. And I don’t care for the high boat neck in the pattern. So I guess I used the skirt!

Scary pic follows. Well, it scares me. This is the ‘long’ length from the pattern.

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Just awful. Out of curiosity I pinned the front up to the knee, and it’s much much better. But I wasn’t in love.

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So I cut it! It was a great opportunity to further my Lagenlook-drafting skills. I have absolutely no bottoms that match this top, so black it is. I was actually a little happier than I look in this pic.

frankie-final

Parting shot: Ms. Crab Spider has been busy in the guava tree again, this time after some very strong storms that really cleaned out the trees. Her web was so pretty with the late afternoon sun shining through her home.

spiderweb

It’s almost the weekend – I hope it’s safe and peaceful for all. I’ll be finishing a quilt project, I’ve been cold in this chilly Florida weather. Such a wuss…

Bye for now! Coco

Help please! trying to ‘copy’ a pattern…

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This is my Australian Open project – and Happy Australia Day to all of you who are celebrating! I’ve been up every morning at double-O early to watch the matches. They start at 3:30 a.m in my neighborhood. But I am an early riser anyway, so it’s nice to have such good company.

This project. I’m trying to make a copy of the McCalls 6168 sharkbite hem cardigan. It’s out of print (but not so old, released in 2010), and I can only find 2 copies on the web, both in size 18-24. I would get one of these, but drafting a size 12 from a 18 is not easy.

BTW – Twotoast started this! I am smitten with all her versions of the pattern…beautiful!

m6168

 

As a starting point, I picked up Butterick 5203 in JoAnns – it has that critical hemline. All settled on the floor with tissue, tape, and pen, I opened the pattern. And the only thing in there was the instruction set. No pattern. I have never bothered to look inside a pattern envelope in the store! Shocker.

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Back to the drawing board, more research, and I decided to start with New Look 6323, View D. Which meant I had to draft the hemline. Good thing my favorites were winning in the tennis matches.

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And here’s what I drafted for this version. I redrew the front neckline, hemline, and sides. This is the front, but the back has the same changes on the sides and hemline.

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I was a little worried about the neckline, because that front curve is critical. But it came out OK!

neckline
This is an awful poly jacquard knit…but it was perfect for a muslin.

My sides don’t have as much of a drop as I’d like, or the line I’m after …

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But not bad for my first attempt.

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Gosh, my  white top and pants don’t match. Actually, I wore this awful white-on-white combo so that the cardi would be easy to see. Here’s a better look…

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Back to the title – any ideas on how to improve the hemline? Does anyone have a pic of the pattern pieces from M6168 to share? Or another pattern idea? I promise to bow from the waist forever for any and all assistance.

A quick note on my ‘Choices’ post – the comments are wonderful, inspiring, and much appreciated. I haven’t replied to any of them, because the diversity of opinion and the openness of what’s being shared are awesome.

Bye for now! Coco