Vincent VG

1 VVG

1 FabricI got this amazing jersey from Jeff and rushed to show it to a friend of mine, an art lover I see a few times a year who I can count on to enthuse unreservedly about my more offbeat finds.  Not this time.  She looked doubtful.  ‘I think,‘ she said slowly, ‘that might work in small amounts.’

What the…?!     😡  

Does this happen to you?  Do you sometimes grow out of friends you assumed were for life?!

Oh, I jest  🙂

Mccalls 6559

The pattern, McCall’s 6559, I had in the stash as I’d once made it into a vest dress for a friend in Croatia (review here).  It’s quick and easy (if oversized) but I like some ambition in my projects to help me learn and improve so I decided to add a couple of elements to the simple design.  What I really wanted was to make this unusual – I was determined to celebrate my find!

The first deviation from View C was the 13cm splits to the side seams.  So far, so good.  1 split

Less successful were the ruffles I painstakingly cut and folded from bias strips of silky georgette.  After I attached them to the armholes, they simply didn’t sit subtly and softly enough so had to be cut off.

1t armhole frill

Instead I bound the neckline and armscyes with loops of 4cm cut longways, their total length some 5cm shorter than the length of garment and stretched lightly to fit.  I don’t like how the instructions ask for the neckline and armholes to be folded under twice to a total of 1.5cm and stitched.  This would make the neckline really low.  On the other hand, the armholes do need to be cut away if you’re going to use binding.  I removed 1cm and it’s not quite enough.

1 binding

To complete the look I call ‘Urge Overkitsch’, I borrowed my daughter’s nail varnish (hmm, too pearly) and decorated a pair of flip flops by knotting them with 100 water balloons (£2 a packet from Tiger).  It’s a project that works best with the plainest of plastic flip flops which I didn’t have so these are my son’s Hawaianas.  He’s really mad about it; tells me to get my own flip flops to tie balloons to.  But he wears them around the garden, I notice.

Jeff always chats to me about my purchases.  He couldn’t tell me much this time except that this thick, cotton-like jersey is produced in Germany and some kind of royalty fee is involved in the reproduction which is why at £12 it’s more expensive than most of his fabrics.  Do you like it?  I have a metre left, enough for a T-shirt,  so any suggestions for what might work are most welcome.  And if you can, please let me know if you recognize any of the paintings in the collage.  Here’s another close-up:1 VVG Fabric

1 Running

Long Distance McCall’s 6559

View C of McCall’s 6559 is an extended vest basically; the sort of dress that’s cheaper to buy than make.  But I’ve become enamoured with the more interesting version E of this pattern and have convinced myself that I should make it for my friend Nataša who – and herein lies the problem  –  lives in another country.  I hardly ever see her 🙁  This slightly baggy production serves therefore as our muslin and, since I sent the dress to her in the post, these photos are in place of a fitting.

I started with some soft, thick stretch cotton in invigorating blues from Fabric House (£3.50 a metre) and cut the pattern to the bust, waist and hip measurements that my friend emailed.  Funnily enough, we‘re the same height and weight but differently distributed with me a base-down triangle and Nataša the inverse.  Once the dress was finished, it appeared to hold her shape and looked like the dresses she wears on the beach and boat.  But I realise now that instead of sizing it 12-10-10, I could have gone 12-8-8. 

A couple more notes on the pattern: the armhole and neckline seam allowances of 1.5cm are meant to be folded under twice and stitched which I thought would make this simple dress look even more cheap basic so I invested a bit of effort in making binding.  If you do so too, remember to trim off 1.5cm from armholes and the neckline.

Also, I’d caution against the advice in the instructions to stretch the fabric slightly as you sew.  This might work for sergers but I conducted a little experiment on strips of fabric, sewing alongside the ribbing as well as across the ribbing with both a straight and a zigzag stitch.  With both, the fabric kept its shape better when it wasn’t being stretched during sewing.  See the puckering and tunnelling in the ‘stretched’ examples? 

Of course, the moral of my story isn’t do as I say.  It’s conduct your own experiment

Ever sewn long distance?