Saturday, 22 November 2014

McCalls M6696 update

It has been a busy sewing week or two. I have almost finished my McCall's M6696 shirtdress that I started at the Ray Stitch workshop with the lovely Clare from Sew Dixie Lou.
The photos below show the progress I have made. All I need to do now is to hand-sew the internal yoke and attach the sleeves - yeah! I decided to not use buttons with the traditional buttonholes but use big press-studs instead which I am pretty happy with.
The other ladies on the course were lovely and it was interesting how different our shirt-dresses looked because we all used such different fabrics. Below are a few photos of the last workshop on Tuesday 11th November.

Danny tackling her top-stitching!

Lisa showcasing her amazing almost-finished shirt-dress (she did loads of homework between classes!)

Fitting the collar onto my shirt-dress.
You can see the black polka dot inner collar facing popping out! 
The lovely Clare from Sew Dixie Lou with a fellow sewer also called Danny!
I couldn't resist taking a shot of the Ray Stitch counter 'after-hours' on my way out! It looks so lovely!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

McCalls M6696 shirtdress progress

Part two of the Ray Stitch McCalls M6696 shirtdress was really enjoyable. Due to the crazy state of my house renovations I was unable to use a sewing machine to complete my homework - I hand basted everything in place. Luckily I managed to catch up on my homework by getting to Ray Stitch a little bit earlier and cheekily asked if I could use a machine to catch up. Thanks Ray Stitch!

So, what did I manage to get done on Tuesday? As you know from the previous post the M6696 is pretty pattern piece heavy and there are lots of individual steps.
This is what I achieved between 6pm - 9.30pm (including my homework):
  • Attached the external back yoke to the altered back piece
  • Sewed the side seams of the bodice
  • Sewed the shoulder seams
  • Attached the internal back yoke
  • Trimmed the side seams and applied satin bias binding
  • Hand-stitched the internal yoke
  • Attached the external waistband
  • Created two simple pleats facing outwards on the back piece to take out the extra material left from the removal of the gathering
  • Attached the internal waistband
  • Sewn sleeve seams
  • Gathered the top of sleeves
  • Sew the four skirt darts
  • Attach the pocket linings
  • Under-stitch the pocket linings
  • Attach the pockets
Woah! When you list it like this it looks like I was working like a maniac! Unfortunately I haven't been able to do any sewing this weekend due to a number of DIY house chores (fixing-leaking-roof kind-of-stuff) and preparing for next week at work where I will be having Senior Management reviewing the department (scary!).

Here is a sneak peak of the bodice with lovely neat bias-bound seams and the black spotty contrast cotton. You can also see one of the two small pleats I added to take out the fullness of the lower back.
Fingers crossed I can be a speedy sewer again on Tuesday to get to the final stage of the shirtdress.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Ray Stitch Shirtdress Workshop

On Tuesday's for the next two weeks I will be skilfully guided through making the McCalls M6696 shirtdress by the lovely Clare from Sew Dixie Lou at Ray Stitch in Islington.

I booked this course a while ago pre-finishing my MA dissertation as a little treat to look forward to. I originally bought a textured grey 100% linen to use but when I got it home and saw how the grey looked against my face (too similar a tone ie. pale) I decided to search for another fabric (don't worry the linen will make a lovely skirt / trousers).
The first of three sessions was on 28th October. I managed to cut out all sections of the 3/4 sleeve, straight skirt version of the dress (View D).

The only sewing I managed was to create gathers in the back and attach to the yoke. It was at this point I realised the the slight bulk of the corduroy would be a disadvantage with certain aspects of the pattern - I just didn't like the puffy effect on the corduroy that doesn't drape as well as other fabrics such as viscose, silk or a lightweight chambray.... I was getting a bit tired at this point of the class and decided to unpick / re-do this part at home.

To get rid of the gathers I did this... it may not be right but hey, you live and learn!

I am looking forward to the next session on Tuesday and hope that my free-styled modifications will match up with the waistband part of the dress. If it doesn't I could always add a little box pleat and call it a design feature. Seeing these photos made me realise I really should iron my bodice to get rid of the ex-gathers!