Wednesday, September 01, 2010

McCalls 6069

Pattern Description:
Pullover, above mid-knee, semi-fitted straight dresses A, B, C have elastic waist casing, stitched hem and bodice variations; dress A is sleeveless; dress B has three-quarter sleeves; dress C is sleeveless with self sash; dresses A, B, C have optional back strap; optional purchased belt. I made view A. I'm wearing it with "optional purchased belt."

Pattern Sizing:
14-20, I made the 18.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
A lot of reviewers have said they are easy to follow. I am a beginning knit sewer. (In fact this is my fourth attempt to sew an ITY knit. The other three were wadders.) I found the instructions somewhat confusing and incomplete. I ended up making the bodice twice. Below are the numbered instructions I felt needed extra description. Normal text is the original. The bolded text is what I added after lessons learned on the first attempt at the bodice.

1. To make pleats in bodice front, on outside, crease along lines of small circles. Bring creases to lines of large circles; baste. Baste across upper edge. Press.
The pleated areas become the shoulder straps. Be very careful that pleats are identically sized or else the shoulder straps will be different widths.

2. Finish unnotched edge of bodice front self facing. Turn in bodice front self facing along fold line; baste.
Finish armhole edges. It's next to impossible to do it when the shoulders and sides have already been sewn together.

3. (Reinforce bodice back pivoting at triangle, as shown. Clip to triangle.) Finish unnotched edge of bodice back self facing. Skip first part of step 3 until after step 7.

4.To make pleats in bodice back, on outside, crease along lines of small circles. Bring creases to lines of large circles; baste. Baste across upper edge. Press.
Do NOT Turn in bodice back self facing along fold line or baste like you did after making the pleats on the bodice front.

7. Rotate the pleated areas which stick out to the sides into position as shoulder straps. Pin back strap to bodice back self facing, matching triangle as shown. Be careful that back strap is perpendicular to shoulder strap. When stitching, be careful to hold back out of the way and only stitch strap to the facing. Stitch. Stitch again 1/4" away.

Now do first part of step 3. Reinforce bodice back pivoting at triangle, as shown. Clip to triangle. If you do this before attaching the strap, it's really hard to be positive you are reinforcing the area directly next o the back strap, where it needs to be reinforced.

8. With right sides together, pin bodice back to bodice front at shoulders; baste. Be sure to keep back facing out of the way.

9. Turn bodice back self facing in along foldline, bringing shoulder edges together. Stitch. Stitch again 1/4" away in seam allowance. Trim close to stitching. Press seam allowance flat. Don't serge shoulders together. It's too bulky (4 layers of fabric).

The rest of the instructions are fine, but if you are new to ITY knits like me, be sure to use a walking foot. ITY knits are slippery! Also, be sure to baste your seams before serging if you have a serger. I just wish there was a walking foot for the serger!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It's sexy and comfortable.

It stretched out so that the back strap was a but long and the armholes a bit big (see side view). I'm sure that was just my fabric though. I've heard it said to let knits hang before cutting. I guess there is something in that. ;)

I put pockets in mine and it did add some bulk to the hip area. If you are concerned about that, I'd leave off the pockets.

Fabric Used:
ITY knit from Michael Levine's in LA. I really miss living in LA just for the garment district if nothing else. I was there for my HS reunion and convinced my husband (he must love me or something) to spend the one free hour of time we had driving to and from downtown in traffic just so I could spend 20 minutes in the 60,000 sq ft heaven that is Michael Levine's. If only I had more time. I bought 4 ITY knits and a rib knit (3 yards each) and got out of there for $42. So this dress cost me about $6 plus thread and elastic that I already had.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a double needle stitch on the armholes and the hem with one back thread, one red. I just hemmed it about 5/8". With my fabric stretched out, it ended up the perfect length, but it would have been above the knees if it hadn't stretched. Above the knee seems so scandalous now. How funny. Remember when we were all wearing our skirts Ally McBeal short?

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would definitely recommend it. But if you are a beginning knit sewer, ignore the one hour promise on the cover. Not counting my bodice do-over, I'd say this took me about 6 hours. But I have a great dress. Finally - an ITY success.

It's definitely not a wadder! I love my dress!

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