Monday, March 29, 2010


I have sewn before. I sewed a lot of my own clothes that my mom rarely let me wear outside the house between ages 7-12. Using really careful handstitches (my mom encourage me to learn to sew, because of that whole immigrant woman thing), I made dresses out of paper, garbage bags, my dad's shirts, etc. I even made a paltry "cheerleader" costume in third grade out of old tshirts and a ballet leotard (I felt ashamed when I saw other girls' "real costumes," but in retrospect, I think was pretty kick ass). But trying to learn on a machine with patterns, without the benefit of being really young, is more complicated.
Today I made a muslin. I did a very fast job and I didn't pay too much attention to details, just fit. McCall's 8466, copyright. I don't quite have the right fabric chosen yet.

Like a good vintage sewist wannabe, I first put a paper iron on interfacing on the back of the pattern pieces. It's simple: only 5 pieces, including a loop for these shoulder buttons that I will be skipping.
There is a weird button design on top that I think I'll skip. The end result was not so elegant as the ladies on the cover (surprise). I think it should be hemmed to above the knee.
I thought maybe adding a belt would help, but I realized that it might be a problem with the woven fabric. This would probably look nicer with a more drapey, knit fabric, although I am scared of sewing knits (my machine has a faux overlock stitch though, and a special walker foot, so maybe I don't have to be scared).
There's also some odd kind of shirring going on the "skirt" pieces. I had to do a baste stitch on top of these pieces, and pull to create the ruffled top edge, but it looked really sloppy.
Then I realized I had a similar piece from American Apparel from last year. The stretch jersey seems to cling and fit in a much more flattering way, although I may use a woven fabric anyway (the pattern envelop recommends a range of fabrics, from linen, pique, jersey, synthetic blends, etc.)
Please excuse my giving the camera a dude head-nod. I was listening to a "This is Hell" podcast and I was feeling smug about Jamie Gailbraith's interview about critiquing right wing claims that the U.S. is going to go bankrupt if it accumulates any more deficit spending. (It is not, by the way).
What's great about this top is that instead of more random shirring, it has 4 evenly placed pleats on the skirt, which I think I will reproduce for the eventual final version of this piece rather than attempt a more even distribution.
It's spring break, so that means grading and writing. Happy Monday.


  1. Wow, that looks great for your first try! I'm sure once you pick out some nice fabric it'll look just as good as the cover :) Keep on sewing! (and enjoy your break! so jealous...)

  2. Oh I love this pattern. I can't wait to see the end result!

  3. Good for you for making a muslim mock-up first! I never do that, which probably accounts for the many mediocre garments I produce (though I get a few winners too!)

  4. Also, I read your comment on my post and I would totally love it if we could be sew-pals!

  5. Oh I love this pattern. I can't wait to see the end result!