Wednesday, September 22, 2021

McCalls 8192, Wearable Toile in View A and Flannel in View B

My wearable toile for McCalls 8192 is a combination of view A and view C. It is a size 16 that is large for me most everywhere except the shoulders.  A second make could be taken in a little at the side seams between 1/2" to maybe 1" (meaning 2 to 4" smaller, a wide range). The open back has been eliminated, replaced with a drafted pattern piece to fill in the back.  The fabric is from JoAnn, a cotton print named Green Brown Leaves, Keepsake Calico Cotton fabric, 42" wide.  My initial purchase was a 3/4 yard remnant, (17912213  100% cotton, machine wash gentle cold, tumble dry low, warm iron).  It is quilting cotton, but once machine washed and dried, it looked like it would be good for apparel.  I ordered 2 yards more from JoAnn. (I should have ordered 3 at least, especially since the entire order was refunded because it arrived 3 weeks late.)  As a result, there was not enough fabric for sleeves, so this muslin was only good for the bodice shape.  The skirt was made before, as a drawstring dirndl skirt.  The notes on that project are at the end of this post.  

Once sewn up, I found that the change to the back requires cutting two neck bindings instead of just one, so that there is a piece for the front and the (non-existent in the pattern) back--that worked well.  However, the binding needs to be stretched more so that it will lay flatter.  The fit is roomy, especially in the front.  It does pull a little across the back.  It almost fits ok with a bra under, but a flattering fit would require several inches removed from the front.  At the same time, the armholes and the back should not be smaller.  The fit is just supposed to be roomy, as is apparent from the envelope photo.  It might be that the backless design would never fit tightly so they went with a body skimming fit.  Using a tutorial on adjusting princess seam bodices on the Seamwork Magazine website, the pattern was adjusted for a smaller bust.  Basically, the princess seam itself is shorter, meaning the length of the seam is reduced, changing the curve.  If that change does not resolve the fit issues, the bodice sides could be wider with the front reduced accordingly.

The skirt is fine, but even though I lengthened it by 1" from the shortest version it could be longer.  This is made worse by the bodice shortening.  However, the shorter bodice (1 1/2" shorter, or 3/4" folded up) is good.  If anything, the skirt could be narrower, but it is cute the way it is.  There was not enough fabric for 4 pocket pieces, so the front pocket pieces are from the cotton/hemp denim-type fabric from Fancy Tiger.  It is not a great contrast, but having them in the front, they are not normally visible and do not show through the main fabric because it is not sheer at all. The print is a little off on the wrong side in spots, but that imperfection does not seem to come through to the right side.  This fabric is soft to the touch.  

The non-fusible interfacing, all that is left, is in the armhole facings.  They are tacked down to the multiple seams, no topstitching, although that is an option.  All the seams are pinked to prevent fraying.  This fabric does not fray much, so pinking should be enough.
When I pinked it, I cut into the bodice by the princess seam in the front! However, since the bodice on this version was too large, I moved the seam over 1/4" to cover the cut, improving the fit while repairing my goof.  I really like this version, even though the fabric now reminds me of camo material.

The second version is cut from 3 1/4 yds. of cotton flannel in a gray flowered print. After washing, this measures only 40" wide and lost 1/4 yard in length, but it is very soft now. This fabric is also from JoAnn, on sale for $2.99/yd. so was only $7.48 (161640546). It is a difficult cut due to all the changes in the pattern and the shorter length of fabric. For future reference, the long sleeves took a yard of fabric, with some left around the cut for the binding. The skirt is cut 4" shorter than the longer length, since that is the longest that could be managed. The pockets are cut from the narrow pieces of Taos Texture quilting cotton leftover from the at-home dress. It is not a disappointment to cut the pockets from contrasting material because the smoother cotton will make the pockets a little easier to use than ones made with the fuzzy flannel. It is so fuzzy that things would stick to them.
This version is actually a second muslin that will be useful to perfect the fit of the princess seams in the bodice as well as the waist. Since I am stuck with cutting a size 16, the smallest size in this size block, the pattern pieces are large on me. With the revised pattern pieces and sewing the princess seams in front in by 1/4" below the notch, the fit is good.
I tried applying the bias binding to the neck on the wrong side and top stitching it down on the right side. That was a little simpler than the opposite way, but still rather difficult. This pattern calls for the binding to be sewn on with a 1/2" seam. The extra width made it hard to turn the binding under. Trimming the seam back 1/8" helped. However, the additional width does look good in this thicker fabric.
The sleeves were quite difficult, requiring hand stitching of the cuff binding. Then setting them into the bodice was more difficult, especially since the adjustment I made to the princess seams may have resulted in unevenness in the top join that is part of the armhole. Since the seam extended into the armhole rather than tapering out at the armhole, and the seam is to be pressed to the center, the princess seam allowance was caught up in the armhole seam. It took me at least three tries to get that bit straight, but once the allowances were clipped, they lie flat and to the center.
It was interesting that this pattern calls for trimming the entire armhole seam close to the second stitching. Other patterns call for just trimming between the lower notches, i.e. the underarm. Although the second stitching caught up a bit of excess fabric, it lies flat enough. (Need to be more careful on that second stitching, especially with bulky fabrics.)
However, in spite of all the trouble, the sleeves are delightful. They resemble the currently trendy full "balloon" sleeves in designer dresses, notably the more bohemian brands such as Reformation, Chloe, and Sea. At the same time, the narrow sleeve top eases smoothly into the armhole, making a nice contrast to the fullness at the cuff.

My first use of this pattern was with a 100% polyester fabric, a 1 yard, 58" wide remnant from JoAnn, bought on impulse for $3.84.  It combines the skirt from McCalls 8192 and the waistband from Butterick 6457.  There are pockets in the McCalls pattern that would attach to the waistband and the side seams, but there was not enough fabric for them, especially since there was a drawstring that took up a couple of inches of fabric.  There was a 4-inch section of fabric added to the waistband, making it over 40" overall in length, long enough to fit over my hips.  Two 34" lengths of elastic in the waistband bring the total waistband measurement to 33".  This and all the skirts from this pattern are really too big for me, but the fit in a full skirt is a preference, not a mandate.

The rolled hem foot made a nice neat hem, except for at the side seams.  In future, the cut hem needs to be very straight, and maybe a little longer at the side seams to allow for a little more fabric in the hem there.  It is not necessary to prep the skirt for hemming, other than to hand fold an inch or so and place it under the foot with the threads to the back.  Sew a couple of stitches, then hold the threads (and later the fabric) to the back and feed the edge in at the front.  Keep the back and front straight once feeding is established and do not let the fabric go over the concave portion of the foot.  This fabric, which is like iron, does not fray much initially and is quite thin.  It works well in the rolled hem foot.  It is an acceptable skirt, but I actually do not wear it much because skirts with waistbands ride up too much on me.

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