Category: mccalls

McCalls 6095: Pincushion B


Yet another pincushion.

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I left all of my garment sewing patterns up in Montreal, so until I bring them here I’ll be working on a few arts and crafts projects.

This is a pincushion from McCalls 6095. I used leftover scrap quilting cotton, ric rac and a button from stash. Halfway through I realized my pincushion looked halfway deformed, and I almost threw it out. I didn’t have any felt for the base of the pincushion, and using quilting cotton would probably mean that the bottom would unravel.

Thankfully I didn’t let my perfectionistic tendencies get the best of me. I found some ric rac that distracted from the strange non-round, lopsided shape of the pin cushion, and found a decorative button from my stash.

As I was taking pictures of the pincushion I found some felt in my stash, so I will amend this with new felt the next time I sew.

My sewing machine has been unable to wind a bobbin lately. I had to wind the bobbin by hand until it was halfway full. About a year ago it was already having bobbin winding issues, but I got around it by putting a mechanical pencil underneath the bobbin winding mechanism until it caught. Looks like I have to bring the machine into the shop soon if I can’t figure this out. Has this happened to anyone else out there?

What I’m Working on This Week: McCall’s 8706


This week’s project is McCall’s 8706, in blue geometric cotton voile. I think I might do the version with the sleeves since it’s more versatile.

McCalls 8775: Chambray Tent Dress



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I’ve been reading Marianne Faithfull’s autobiography for the last few days, and I’ve resolutely decided that the 60s need to come back. I’d settle for the latter half of the 60s, 1967 onward.

I also decided that I’ve missed vintage sewing, but I wanted to sew more things that I’d wear everyday and would fit into my lifestyle. I don’t have the lifestyle (as of yet!) to swan about in 1950s dresses, so I turned to the late 60s.

I don’t usually wear dresses with high necklines, but since it’s short I needed something to balance it out. I lowered the neckline by an inch and a half (more adjustments documented below), and it was still high enough to look like a high neckline (to me) and to still be comfortable.

I’ve already worn this dress to work a few times, and it’s very comfortable. It’s also short (for what I’m used to!), so I I have to be careful when going to the subway, walking about, sitting down. It’s comfortable, practical, can be dressed up or down, and looks different from what’s out there in ready to wear. Many more dresses like this to come, for certain.

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McCalls 8755, from 1967.

(I originally planned to sew this dress in a green floral but that proved to be disastrous. It was just too much fabric for such a simple dress.)

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Project Details:

Pattern: McCalls 8755.

Pattern Sizing: Size 14.

Description: Sleeveless, front yoked dress has high neckline and center back zipper.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Chambray.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s comfortable, stylish, and looks somewhat unique.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Shortened skirt by eight inches, narrow back adjustment, used seam binding instead of facing, lowered the neckline by 1 1/2 inch, used an invisible zipper.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes.

McCalls 6559: Burgundy Short Version



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Yet another knit dress. Since I’ve decided to make projects that I’ll wear more often, I’ve been sewing a lot of knits. I finished this burgundy knit dress a few weeks ago, and only had a chance to post about it now. It’s versatile both in summer and autumn, and is something that is not black and manages to photograph decently.

What I’m Working on This Week: McCalls 5805

This is my progress so far on Mccalls 5805. The bodice has a normal zipper since I ran out of invisible zippers (and the Hello Kitty machine was in the shop). I still have to finish the bodice and the sleeve binding, but it’s almost done.

Sewing Meetups + Actual Sewing

Esteemed Sewing Assistant, looking totally bewildered and sitting on some fabric.

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Alright. After an unexpected hiatus of almost of almost two months, I definitely think I’m back.

Over the weekend, I had a chance to meet Lauren, Oona, Cindy (Cindy, where is your blog?) and many more inspiring ladies who sew. We hit up the usual — Mood, Pacific Trimmings, Chic Fabrics — and a bar afterwards, but sadly I have no photographs to show for this.

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I worked on more of McCalls 5805, but with no additional photographs to show for it, since it looks the same on the dress form. I cleaned up and serged the side seams, bottom seam, and the shoulder seam. I also cut, underlined, and serged the gathered skirt together, but haven’t assembled anything yet.

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This is what the bottom skirt part will look like. There’s a huge border print of even larger roses. The cotton voile looked a little see-through so I had to underline it with black cotton broadcloth just to be safe.

More sewing to come, definitely soon.

What I’m Working on This Week: McCalls 5805, Bodice

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I can only sew once a week these days, so I’ve been working on this slowly but surely. I lined the bodice with cotton broadcloth. I still need to serge the edges and cut the skirt.

What I’m Working on This Week: McCalls 5805

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I was looking through my stash and I found this interesting dress pattern. I plan to make View A, with the pouffy skirt, and to add pockets.

The Live Through This Dress

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Fabric: black wool, $7/yd, approx 2 yd. white lace, approx $5/yd, 1 yd
Pattern: McCalls 7707
Year: 1960
Notions: black invisible zipper, $1
Time to complete: a couple of evenings
First worn: Haven’t been worn yet!
Wear again? Yes
Total cost: $20

Everyone needs an austere black dress with a white lace collar. I’ve been listening to a lot of Hole circa 1994 (especially Live Through This) when I made this dress, and it was inspired by a similar dress that Courtney Love wears.

I think the black wool I used was too stiff for this pattern. I used the scalloped collar and didn’t interface the collars out of laziness, and I think the collar turned out too wobbly.

I plan to make this again with modifications, using a wool with more drape and more simple collar.

It was incredibly cold the morning when I took these photos, so I’ll have to figure out what works for the rest of the winter.

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Pattern used:

McCalls 7707.

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Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Lightly fitted and flared dress, with high waistline in front, may be sleeveless or have long set-in sleeves. Long sleeves are scalloped at wrists and closed with zippers. Two-piece contrasting collar on sleeveless dress, or matching scalloped dress on collar with sleeves. Collars are interfaced. Buttons are used as decorative trim on upper front. Either version has center back zipper, may be lined.

Pattern Sizing:
Size 12, 32 bust. I had to size it up but I think I made a math error since I had to remove about two inches from the back side seam.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
There weren’t a lot of pieces to this pattern, and I liked how you can customize the collar.

Fabric Used:
Black wool, white lace.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I shortened the skirt and the sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes.

I really like it! Very comfortable to wear, and finally a dress with sleeves.

What I’m Working on This Week: McCalls 7707

Here’s what my muslins look like so far for McCalls 7707. There’s two wrinkles by the middle bodice but I think that’s due to user error. I’m doing the version with the scalloped collar.


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