Thursday, April 25, 2013

McCall's M6437 Misses' Top with Belt using Cotton Voile

This project was a disaster!  I would definitely consider this worthy of Stitch-Slapped Fridays.

The only reason I picked this pattern was that I cover up my torso and arms at my office job, and I thought this silhouette was different than the typical button down or turtleneck.
Now I'm thinking I should stick with the basic styles instead of this foo-foo. I should have known better when it said "Laura Ashley." Doh! I'm a tomboy. But I love pretty fabric!

I think the biggest problem for me is looking like I tried too hard.
I usually dress dowdy for this very reason, whether I make the clothes myself or not.
I don't even want to attempt to dress up, because I can't walk in high heels, and I feel awkward and embarrassed. Maybe if I did it more often, dressing up would become more comfortable.
I don't want to appear as if I do not take care of myself, but I don't want to make a major fashion faux pas, either.

This probably goes way back to my early attempts at dressing up and fitting in.
I was dressed as a boy most of my childhood, but when I went to grade school, I remember picking out a flowery gathered skirt that I actually liked, and I wore it to school. I remember a girl pointing and laughing at me in the bus line because I was wearing it with the zipper dead center and FRONT. She said it was supposed to be in the back. That made no sense to me.

I thought that was a BIG deal, because I had been wearing it for awhile, and no one else had told me. No one was mean, but it was one of many mortifying situations in dressing myself.

Well, back to this blouse...
I think it would have been fine if I had picked design A or B. I picked D, but I wanted to use B length sleeves with the D cuff to cover my arms, and it looks weird.

The collar is downright medieval! I didn't even pick the highest collar! I don't understand why suck a high collar would be on a blouse with short sleeves, as in C. It's like hiking in a sweatshirt with short shorts.

The muslin fit fine, but I wasn't sure about the styling. I should have trusted my gut right there and then.

I was hoping it was just the muslin talking, but the collar in the final garment is stiff and ridiculous looking.
I did learn a few things, so it wasn't a complete loss.

I used this beautiful voile, Turn of Events in Indigo by Anna Maria Horner, part of her Innocent Crush collection.

The front and back of the bodice are cut on the fold. Since I was using 54 " width of fabric, I finally figured out that the best way to cut out the pieces would be to fold the selvages in to the middle. I don't think the instructions indicated this option, but maybe I missed it. I was glad to save some fabric.

I really hate gathering by bobbin thread. Is there really any benefit to buying a gathering foot, or would it gather too much? What if you can't predict the ratio of fabric needed to gather into a smaller seam? Is there some sorta standard?

I was worried that the voile might be too delicate for the collar, so I made the decision to use some Kaufman Kona solid black quilting cotton for the collar and cuffs. I even stopped and  prewashed the fabric! I used the wrong fusible interacing - a woven kind for collars and cuffs. I turned out too stiff! I think I should have used a more lightweight kind. Then, on top of that, when I washed it, the interfacing shrunk. I should have read Peter Lappin's blog post sooner! Pre-Shrinking Interfacing or "D'OH!" Now I'm torn about trashing all this fusible and getting sew-in interfacing or trying some other suggestions. What do you do to prevent bubbles and shrinking?

I practiced making button loops, too. Oh, joy.

I am hoping to rip off that collar and salvage that gorgeous voile for another day!