Tag Archive | McCalls

McCall’s 6654 Skirts

Over the spring, I had a little “knit elastic skirt” project.  Last summer I went to a store and couldn’t find any.  So this year, being proactive, I made about 8 different skirts so I would have plenty for separates over the summer.  First up on the blog is McCall’s 6654 which was the second pattern I tried.

I made two skirts of view F (19 inch length), one skirt in view G (23 inch length) and one skirt in view I (42 inch length).  All skirts are from ITY knit.  I did a larger hem allowance at 1.25 inches for 3 out of the 4 skirts.  I also used size 16 for all of them.  Only the maxi skirt had any major pattern alterations.

First up the View F.  I made two version of this view.  The first was from the black patterned ITY.  I used the 1.25 inches for the hem so it was above knee-length.  As it was the first, I also had doubts so I took in the side seams some which I shouldn’t have done.

The second View F (skirt 3 from pattern) is from a brushed sueded ITY knit.  This fabric did not like heat at all.  I burnt it with the iron which was set under 4 (just on the steam side).  Because of that, I did a double folded narrow hem that I would not need to take the iron to.  It is serged then rolled twice.  Otherwise there were no pattern alterations.

View G was the second version of the pattern completed.  This time the only change made was to use the 1.25 inch hem.  Everything else was according to pattern.

Last skirt completed was View I (the maxi skirt).  I knew immediately that 42 inches long was too much.  I had my dad check the length I needed with a tape measure.  It came to 36 inches.  I ended up using 37 inches.  I figured I would rather have the pattern piece too long instead of not long enough and I used a deeper hem (the 1.25 inches like previous versions).  I started at the lengthen and shorten line and marked off every three inches 4 more times.  At each line I took out an inch of length then blended the side seam from top to end of adjustments.

I really like this pattern (I guess making it 4 times proves it).  It was extremely versatile and allowed me to try out a midi length also.  The pattern is extremely easy to sew together and would make a perfect beginner project.  I think all total each version was probably about 4 hours from cutting to finished.  It took two evenings to complete just because I don’t like fighting elastic late at night.  It always seems to twist.

It is also fairly easy to modify.  I made my mom one for mother’s day and at the side seams to fit her.  But she doesn’t like having her items posted to the blog.





Floral blouse- McCall’s 7094

DSCI0030So after the Sew Small contest, I had worked on a pair of Ginger Jeans which look like a sewing fail because when I tried them on they were too tight in the waist. So instead of finishing the back pockets and button on those, I decide to cut out a top instead.


I already knew that this pattern was very, very loose-fitting. So I picked up a smaller size pattern than usual (usually I try to pick up patterns with size 16 included). I decided to use a medium as I fell in between the small and medium on the finished garment bust measurement given on the pattern envelope.


I did measure the back length (without the neckband) and it was right around 25.375 inches. For me, that there is borderline as to whether or not it is the length I like. I decided against lengthening the pattern an inch which for the medium length was the right choice for me. The top has a decent portion for the skinny jeans; it isn’t so long that you are looking like you are playing dress up and the fitted bottom the over-sized ness of it look better.

I used a rayon challis I had found off of an E-bay seller. For a rayon challis, this one has a thicker weight and is still draped well which is what is needed for this top.


For the back yoke, I did use the Grainline’s burrito yoke method from the Alder dress (which I included the link at the bottom). I really liked how simple this was and the clean finish I got using the method.

The neckline instructions are tricky to follow. I don’t think I actually did this correctly. My main problem was the squared overlap at the bottom of the placket.


I didn’t see this mentioned in any of the reviews I read. But just in case it wasn’t my error, double-check the bias piece for the arm scythe. My piece was small so it caused the arm area to be too high and small. I went ahead and redid it. I like the re-do better even if I ended up with a lower arm area than intended.

As for next project, I don’t think I am ready to re-try the Closet Case Files Ginger jeans again. The top project contenders look to be either a Queen Elite bra or the True Bias Sutton blouse.

 Burrito method (Grainline)

Fun in the 1940’s- McCall 4785


Back to a vintage pattern for my next top.  I picked up McCall 4785 a couple of months ago when I was looking for vintage dress patterns.  The pattern is copyrighted 1942.  Much to my surprise, the pattern looks like it had never been made.  Only part of the front piece was cut out.  I picked up the pattern because it looked like a nice everyday sort of blouse, so part of me wonders why it was never made.  Was it supposed to be a present and the original seamstress realized it was the wrong size?DSCI0291


I traced out the front and back pattern pieces only.  I added to the side seams for the hip area and graded to nothing at the waist.  I used the same cotton voile that was used for the Deer & Doe Blouse Airelle (I need to remember to get better pictures of this one) which should work well for the button down blouse.  I used some ribbon to hem the top so I was able to keep some length.


I really like the fit of this top.  I definitely should put in with the Deer & Doe Airelle blouse as patterns to turn to when in need of a top.  Next time I make this I will definitely be adding at least two inches to the length (at the bottom) and I think I may also bring in the side seams a touch too from arm to waist area.

With Me-Made-May coming up, April has been the month of separates.  I still have a Deer & Doe Airelle blouse to blog and a Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tee done.  I am currently working on a new skirt.  I am not sure if I have enough for a whole month so I plan on seeing how many days out of the 31 I wear me-made items.  The past couple weeks, the average has been 3 days of me-made items.


Jungle January- McCall’s 5884

Time for Jungle January again.  This time, I decided to make something for myself instead of the dolls.


I found this snake print rayon Challis in the spot the bolt clearance pile.  This is the same snake print I rayon I passed up on early.  I figured it would work well for McCall’s 5884 which I made previously in July 2014.  So if you want more details on this patter please check out the link at the bottom.  This time I went with version D (long-sleeved version) which should work well for spring and autumn.


So this time, I added 2 inches to the bottom.  I found I liked to tuck and fluff my pink version so the extra length should help out.  Then I raised the neckline at least an inch and a half.  For the long-sleeved version (view D), I did make the finish cuff length of 9 inches.  I don’t think there are separate cuff pieces for view C and view D or I lost the piece.  But the cuff piece was 12 inches long and was falling off of my hand when I used the recommended side seams at five-eighths of an inch.

If you want more details be sure to check out the post for the pink top:  https://sewbeading.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/from-doris-days-closet-mccalls-5884/

It was very windy but up near 60 degrees Fahrenheit for January.  The wind just didn’t make for good pictures.  The bishop sleeves were fluttering all over.


From Doris Day’s Closet- McCall’s 5884

First up for the Pattern Stash contest is McCall’s 5884.  As I am wearing the blouse, I just feel like I pulled something out of Doris Day’s closet.  Granted when I did a Google search for Doris Day, no tie collar blouses were in the image search.


It was so much easier than I thought it would be.  For view A (sleeveless), there are only 4 pattern pieces which means it is quick to cut.  I don’t know about anyone else, but the more pieces the pattern has the more I dislike cut it out.  Granted switching to the rotary cutter has sped up cutting patterns a lot and made it easier.  I think all total, this top took me about 3 hours to make.

Any other versions of the McCall’s pattern would definitely need to have the front neckline raised.  It is a little low for my preference.  I would probably also change how to do the collar.  The instructions have one sew the ends of the collar then sew it to the neckline.  I would like to try out putting it on the neckline first then folding the collar in half, pin, and top stitch down the entire length of the collar.


This pattern could work well with a stable knit too.  I can’t think of any reason why it would not.  The shoulder seams would definitely need to be reinforced with clear elastic.  The sleeve pieces would need to be borrowed from another pattern for a t-shirt style sleeve.

I have also made the Burda magazine 10-2010-118 which is also a tie front pull-over blouse.  So a quick comparison of the two, in instructions the McCall’s pattern is so much better than the Burda magazine.  But that shouldn’t shock anyone.  I really dislike the little button on the Burda pattern.  I really like the front of the McCall’s pattern with the gathers on it.  I feel like I got a better finished product.  For any beginner to sewing, the McCall’s pattern would be much easier for them to make.

As I am typing this out, all I can think of is version D with the long sleeves in the snake print rayon Challis that I passed up over at the fabric store’s clearance section.

Summer of 1962- McCall’s 6340


Here are the highlights of August 1962:

  • Actress/ Icon Marilyn Monroe passes away
  • Nelson Mandela is arrested
  • Patsy Cline releases “Sentimentally Yours”
  • Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Berlin Wall riots
  • 1st Mediterranean Grand Prix
  • NASA launches the Mariner 2 to Venus
  • Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago become independent countries.

Actually I didn’t realize this at first, but my dress would work for the Sew Weekly Reunion.  I never got to participate when it was going on but I wanted to at least try to do a couple.  But I was sick Friday and couldn’t take pictures.  Then Saturday was too hot for makeup.  Sunday was too wet.  I got my pictures done today but it was too late to participate.

The Facts

Fabric: 100% cotton

Notions: Thread from stash I didn’t care about what color I used so there is some light pink, white, and light yellow. The pattern is too busy to tell the thread changes colors mid-way through the hem.

Pantone Challenge colors: Koi and Vivacious

mccall 6340

Pattern: (post a picture of the pattern) McCall’s 6340 (Copyright 1962 McCall’s 6340 sewing pattern for misses retro Muu muu in two lengths. Four-gore muu muu, in choice of two lengths, with or without raglan sleeves. Muu muu is gathered to faced neckband at back and front. Contrasting, gathered ruffles in sleeve facing seams of longer muu muu. Shorter muu muu has gathered, self-fabric ruffle on lower edges; separate tie belt.)

Year: 2013

Time to complete: 4 hours total

First worn: Labor day weekend

Wear again? Yes. I adore that it is cute and fun. An easy wear for the heat wave we are having.

Total Cost: $22.00

I decided to go to the fabric store after I wasn’t able to find a decent sized watermelon for Toby (family doggie) one evening. Isn’t a fabric store where everyone wants to go to after a disappointment? I was able to find a cute light weight plaid cotton fabric in the clearance section. I couldn’t wait to cut the pattern out, so I didn’t pre-wash the fabric. I know this is bad but the pattern I picked is for bust size 38 to 40, so I think I should be alright if it shrinks in the wash. I may only put it in the dryer once to shrink it a little.

The pattern is super simple. It is perfect for those wanting to try out vintage pattern and for those just learning to sew. It isn’t highly fitted and makes an adorable summer dress with a belt. For it being a 1962 pattern, the style is still very current.  Very important a belt is needed otherwise it is a huge tent on.  No zipper or fasteners so it worked out perfect for me to try to get over my machine disappointments. I was able to get it half way finished in 2 hours. That was cutting and mostly piecing together. After that two hours I was missing a ruffle, finished arms, finishing back of neck and hemming.

I didn’t do any pattern alterations except for shortening the pattern. I started with about 2 inches. After piecing most of it together I took off another 4 inches of length. I also took in the side seams a couple of inches on each side. I did end up with a dress that is probably a little too big but makes a perfect loose summer dress with a belt. If I make it again, I may want to consider taking a couple of inches out of the center front and the center back seams instead of the side seams. Also, I probably should interface the neckline. The shoulder seams stick out a little. I think washing and wear should help this out some.

Thinking of other possible fabric choices it would have to be some sort of light weight woven like a rayon Challis or cotton lawn.  A knit fabric would possibly stretch out (especially on the maxi length) and may not gather as nicely on the neckline and the ruffle.

I sort of want to make the maxi-length dress. I haven’t quite decided yet on whether I should. But after seeing this dress completed, I have been considering it even more. It would definitely have to be sleeveless (view B) otherwise it will look like I am playing dress up because it is just too big and overwhelming for shorter people with the sleeves that have ruffles at the end. Anyways I am not sure I like the ruffles at the end of the sleeves for view A.

I picked the highlights of August 1962 from the Wikipedia article.  There are many other events that I didn’t include.


Marilyn’s “Niagara” Wrap-skirt

An absolutely intriguing movie is Niagara (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotton. It is a suspense thriller with Niagara Falls setting a dramatic backdrop.  One of the outfits that caught my attention was the wrap skirt and swing jacket that Rose (Monroe’s character) wears to the bus station to get tickets to Chicago.  That outfit always looks so lovely and elegant.

So after looking at the pattern (McCall’s 5840) closer and watching the movie many times, this skirt was still stuck in my imagination.  While looking at the local fabric store one night, I came across this wool blend at ½ off.  The grey is such a similar color as the skirt in the movie that I knew it was destined to be my version of the wrap skirt in Niagara.

After finishing the wrap-around skirt and the 1960’s straight-line dress for the Vintage contest for pattern review, I decided since I still had a week left before the contest deadline, I would go ahead and work on this pattern for the Vintage contest also.  It looks fairly simple right with 6 darts, 4 seams, waistband and such?

I had to take about 6 inches off the bottom of the hem.  Also, I hemmed it another 4 inches.  I added about 4 inches to the waist since the original pattern was too small.   The closure is 4 snaps; 2 snaps in the waistband and 2 snaps in the front side.  I think I may end up going back and adding an additional snap in the waistband.

A wrap skirt just seems to scream that it requires French seam (or am I the only one who thinks that).  So after serging the outside edges of the pieces, I went ahead and started to assemble the back of the skirt with French seams at my parents’ house.  That means I was using a sewing machine (1970’s Singer Stylist 417) I wasn’t comfortable with yet.  (I had picked it up over the summer at a garage sale for $45 with the table so I had a machine at my parents. In January it went to the sewing machine doctor to get fixed since it hadn’t been used too much and needed some TLC.)  So the French seams really lend to the polish look of the garment.

The pattern envelope didn’t look as A-line as the skirt came out.  I was wanting more of a pencil look to replicate the skirt in “Niagara”, but the A-line looks fine.  I still have a nice classic style of skirt.