Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Hacking the Pattern - McCall's 6744, Part 1


(This post was written last December, and has been sitting unpublished. It's about a shirt I made in early 2017, so it's an old post about an old make—meta-blogception! I thought it would be nice to take a trip back in time. Enjoy.)

Winter doesn't ever last very long here. The beginning of 2017 was very, very wet with record rainfall (to grow the kindling that would ignite the current wildfire situation...), and then it got HOT. So when late March rolled around, it was already time for summer clothing.


I had McCall's 6744 on hand (we've discussed the skirt portion before) and the cover drawing of the yellow dress really drew me in. I don't even like yellow, but here it was, calling to me.

Previous experimentation with elasticated waists had me wary of making another one, they all seemed to fall in just the wrong place. So I decided to use the pattern in two ways:
  1. a simple racerback tank
  2. a tank dress without separate bodice and skirt pieces
The pattern includes both a regular scoop tank and racerback (a T-back, if you aren't familiar) with the same front piece, so it's easy to mix and match the different views. I wanted a racerback because it's a nice change from my closet full or regular tanks. All I needed to do was lengthen the bodice about five inches and tada! A stand alone top!

Except it was still a little too short. Oops!

Even if my current muffin top is shrinking, cropped tops are soooooooo not my thing. The length ended up being juuuuuuust long enough with the hem but I'd really prefer for it to be at least an inch, if not six, longer. 

The fabric is from the local Mystery Fabric ShoppeTM, a wonderful warehouse-like place in the middle of a South Bay suburb. They sell fabrics of all kinds for dirt cheap, and you never really know what you're going to find there. Most stuff isn't labeled, except with a price (by the pound or by the yard) and the store is kind of divided by knits and wovens, but it's pretty much a haphazardly organized den of delightful chaos.

Outside of the DTLA fashion district, it's one of my favorite fabric places. Though I am afraid of being stuck inside during an earthquake. Or a fire. Yikes.

Anyway, it's a stiff but lightweight airy one-way (or is it two-way?) knit with great colorful stripes that bleed into one another. The green in it is one of my favorites, and one of the base neutrals for my Sewing with a Plan 2018 project. But this was back in March of 2017, so let's stick to the timeline, 'aight?

I've learned since then that my go-to size in McCall's patterns is 14-16 in knits, but I cut a straight 18 her. I also raised the neckline about 2" because for some reason I'm turning modest in my old age. It could have used an FBA but I was too lazy to do one (and it shows).

The pattern calls for narrow hems at the neck and arm holes but I didn't like that look so I fashioned arm bindings and a neckband. I attached the bindings to the front with a zigzag, then wrapped around to the inside. This is where, if I had known better, I would have used a double needle to finish the binding, but instead I just straight stitched them down...haven't popped a stitch yet though.

The neckband was folded in half, attached to the front of the shirt with a zigzag, then tacked to the inside with another straight stitch. I'm cringing as I write this. Melissa Mora has a great tutorial for making knit neckbands, which I credit with being the reason mine lays flat despite the poor finishing technique.

I finished the bottom hem with a zigzag too.

I was pretty proud of myself for how well the side seams pattern matched. It's a really great color combo for spring/summer.





Pattern Recap:

Pattern: McCall's 6744 View B bodice
Size: 18
Modifications: lengthened 5 inches, created neck band and arm bindings, raised neckline 2"
Notes for next time: add more length 

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