Saturday, January 28, 2012

McCall’s 6355 - Black Rib Knit

I already have a long sleeve black top but I felt I needed another one that I could comfortably tuck into my pants and not have a thick padding around the waist area. After reading a few reviews, I thought, OK, I’ll give it a try.


It is described as Misses’ tops and dresses: semi-fitted top, dress have optional front and back darts, self-neck binding and optional invisible side seam zipper. The tanks have self armhole binding. Oh, by the way, this is a Palmer Pletsch pattern. I made view C.


This pattern comes in sizes 8 to 22. My envelope has the 8 to 16 and I cut the 8. In retrospect, I wish I knew how to downgrade because I think I should have cut around a 6 or maybe I could have even gotten away with a 4.

What I liked about this pattern is that there were a few successful makeups on PatternReview. I liked that it is a basic building block of a top or sheath dress.

What I don’t like about the pattern? It might just be me but I do not like the darts or their placement. There’s something with me and darts that just do not like each other. I looked in my closet at some rtw and, ummm, I don’t have too many tops with darts. I wonder why?

M6355 Front

I wouldn’t know if the instructions were easy or not because the top is a cinch to put together. I did browse over the fit pointers and actually should have followed those at the least. But I doubt the outcome would have been different because of my fabric choice. 

I used this really great black, thick, tight, rib knit. It had great return. I love this fabric and had originally wanted to make a long tight ankle skirt out of it to wear with a wide belt. This fabric is clearly not for this top. It is kind of on the heavy side. But I will see how it goes. It goes (went) to the chopping block to be made into some boot warmers.

M6355 Back

I added 1/2 inch to the hem and 5 inches to the sleeves. I wanted long sleeves not 3/4 sleeves. I took the shoulder in 1/2 inch because they hung over the edge. Then took off 1/2 from the sleeve cap. I played with the bust dart placement and don’t know what to say about that except I’m not totally happy with it. I left the sleeves and hem only serged. I couldn’t get the hems to decently turn without flaring out so I just left them as is. I did the same thing with a previous rib knit top I made.

M6355 Front close up

I’ll sew it again eventually. Right now I am a bit bombed about this one. It will be in a light-weight knit, that’s for sure. I also want to do the dress for spring. I already have the fabric washed and cut because if not it may end up as something else. I will see if I can recommend it after I make another rendition.

Conclusion: I’ll have to get back to you on this.

In the mean time I have decided to put a tag in all of my clothes stating the pattern. Here’s a look of one that was made entirely too big. Next time I will surely use a smaller size.

M6355 Tag

Until later, Be Encouraged and Go Grab Your Dreams, Schey.

Friday, January 13, 2012


This is the first item for my 10 Essentials that was stated in a previous post. I made this one first because it was the easiest. I needed to start off with an easy piece to break into the mood.


I made only the tunic top. I wanted to make the bottoms but had just enough fabric for the top alone and, besides, I really didn’t want the big paisley design on the pants. I wanted a plain pant and couldn’t find a plain fabric in the burgundy nor the kiwi green.

front unhemmed

It’s look purple but it’s actually kind of burgundy.

The pattern is labeled Simplicity Easy to Sew. I must agree! Too simple. Anyone with an ounce of sewing knowledge can make this without the directions. Make sure the markings are clear and you fly through this without wings. So, what took me so long to make it? No mojo and other priorities.


Description Misses’ and women’s dress or tunic and pants in two lengths. Easy to sew. I made view C.

Left side

Excuse the boxes. I have been stash searching.

Right side

Size The pattern envelope reads Size AA (10-18); EUR 36-44; and FR 38-46. I made the front piece a 12 and the back piece a 14. I don’t know how that happened but as I was cutting the pieces out, my youngest son told me the numbers didn’t match. I just left it because they weren’t too far off in measurements anyways.


Did it look like the pattern photo or drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes! Darn near exact, same color, too. My fabric has b huge kiwi green paisley designs. I love paisley.

Front complete

Back Complete

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes! I read them to make sure I was doing the pleats that are at each shoulder. In hind site, I really didn’t need them. I also referenced them for the front facing and didn’t need them for that either. From here out I didn’t even look at them.

Shoulder pleats

Fabric used I used a very pretty medium shade burgundy broadcloth with big kiwi green paisley. I love that this broadcloth is not lightweight like some others I have felt. I had my eyes on it for a long time but could not bring myself to buy it at regular price. $9.99 a yard. So, when I happen to be in Hancock for no reason at all but to browse, I saw it on the clearance table. I picked up the bolt and it was 2 yards on it and I paid $1.99 a yard for it! Score!, even if it was only enough for the top.


Pattern alterations or design changes There weren’t many at all. I mentioned before the mismatched sizing between the front and back of the top. Besides that, I made 3 inch slits on either sides of the hem then used a 1/2 inch hem for the body and sleeves. I did not use the interfacing for the facing pieces. I just gave them a good pressing and they hold pretty good shape. I used the last strip of fabric that was about 3/4 of a yard. I cut it in half the long way and put those two pieces together to make the sash long enough to wrap around my waist twice and then tie.

3in Vent

I wouldn’t know what color your screen shows, but this color is closer to the real shade of a medium burgundy.

Will I sew it again? Do I recommend? Well, yes and yes. I actually have an order to make it in black with gold trim for a lady at my church to wear to our Black History Program. I hope I will be able to get a couple of photos of her in it. Yes, of course, I recommend.

Before rehearsalBefore rehearsal 2

Conclusion? Very confortable tunic and I may sew another one for myself again if I can find the right shade of green. If not, I’m keeping it in the ‘visit again’ pile for later.

Here are my in-between time items I made for the girls.

McCall’s 6275 Girl’s dresses, scarf, and leggings. I made the dress and the leggings.


The dress is a fail. I added 5 inches to the hem to get an effect my daughter saw in the store. I worked but not as cute as we thought it would come out. The leggings are great though. Ann wanted some skinnies because the last pants were not her style. I made the leggings in denim that were left over from a past project and let there be skinnies. Here are a the pictures she took. She posed – I snapped.

Front fullBack full

Front half

Can’t you tell she likes her top? Neither do I.

skin leg1

skin leg4

skin leg3skin leg2

skin legSkinny.leggings1


Next is Butterick 6659 for Nii.


I made one for Ann a while back and Nii loves it probably the most. She waits until Ann goes to school and puts it on over her clothes and wears it all day. I have to peel it off of her because Ann wants it back to sleep in at night.

I used the same size for both girls. An 8. Only I overlapped a 1/2 inch for both the front and back center folds for Nii and used View A. I used View D for Ann. I haven’t gotten a photo of Ann’s yet and I don’t promise to post one because I hardly ever go back and post photos. But here the two photos of Nii I did manage to get because she didn’t want to take off her Princess. Anything light pink is princess to her. As I said she wears them over her clothes and it’s hard to get her out of them. This is how we went to pick up Ann from school and grab some items from the grocery store.

PrincessCold Princess

LOL I love my babies! They light up the darkest spots of me.

Until later, Be Encouraged, Scheryka.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

10 Essential Wardrobe Pieces…(pt.1)

This is a goal that I want to accomplish. I plan to have these pieces eventually added to my closet as a celebration to my upcoming college graduation. I will officially have my BA degree in Healthcare Management. This is an addition to my AAS degree in Medical Assisting. Go, Me! I will need a new wardrobe to accentuate my new leaf in life. I will of course still chase my other dreams [and catch them] to sew for profit, a little acting silly, home stage decorating…the list can go on. I am in no time frame. I will also be working to make better fitting and tailored garments. So, with all that said…

The 10 Essential pieces as stated by Tim Gunn, are supposed to be the basic building blocks of a great wardrobe. So, what are these ten classic elements? The basic blouse, great skirt, dress pants, day dress and LBD are a few to name.

I am always making plans in the air to do something spectacular for myself and my wardrobe. This may not be any different. But I am still going to give it a stab.

Going down the list, or going the most appropriate way possible, I plan to make my wardrobe more effective and flexible – and make it work.

Here’s what I have (and I am trying to use what patterns I already have in stock because my husband swears every time he walks in the space he thinks he’s Hancock, LOL):

1. The basic black dress, (LBD) – How about 2? One above the knee and one just below the knee. I have:

B5674        Butterick 5674             V2899       Vogue 2899 A Guy Laroche design

2. Trench coat – Now, I have several coat patterns sitting in the stash and it’s about time I get to them. I’m choosing only one here!

M5525     McCall’s 5525 the basic trench        Misses Jackets Simplicity 2508


3. Dress pants – Let’s see here. I have a multitude of pants patterns but do they fit the bill of dress pants? I chose two, again, and then will choose one of those. This is what I came up with.

V8751                M5710

Vogue 8751                                                McCall’s OOP 5710

4. The classic shirt. A white button-down, never-goes-out-of-style shirt. For me, I think it should look good tucked in, left out, or belted. I have several patterns that I need to go ahead and make. So, this will have to take some thinking on. Here’s a few that’s in the stash already.

M59295929 – I would take the pouf out of the sleeve.

M6076M6076 – Good start with the Long sleeve version.

B4659 Butterick 4659 – I like the white and dark pink versions. Thinking how the sleeves would look peeking from a blazer’s sleeve.

5. Jeans. Not just any pair of jeans. These jeans must fit, flatter and facilitate the body and the booty. So, I can’t have just any pair of jeans. Now, we all know about the infamous Jalie Jean pattern. It produces a nice pair of jeans and as with any pattern, they can be made “yours”. So, they are high on the option list along with J. Stern’s jean pattern.

Photo Great pattern.

Photo Great pattern, too. This may be the winner. I wear these more than the Jalie.

6. Next, is the any occasion top. Hmmm. So, this top is supposed to take you from day time work to night time party without skipping a beat. It has to be able to look respectable under a jacket and be the life of the party. I have never tried an asymmetrical top under a jacket before, but there is always a first for everything.

M6118 M6118 in a metallic knit? Not an everyday trick but I would definitely try this under a jacket. Shed the jacket and throw on some skinnies and wedges (or keep my heels on) and have a Peña Colada.

M6034 M6034 I made one in a black sparkly slinky knit. This would look decent under a jacket and sexy for a night out with the girls.

B5497B5497 was the first top I thought of when reading the requirements for the any occasion top. Looks good under the jacket. Take of the jacket and it’s sexy at the party. The back draws the eyes. I also made this for my birthday top. And those jeans I have on with it are the J. Stern’s.

7. Skirt. If you need pants then you need a skirt. Gunn says it can be flirty or business like. I say why not have it to be able to coordinate with any of the aforementioned top pieces. A few that comes to mind are

M5523 M5523 I think it is possible. Even possible to be worn with the off-shoulder up top.

S9825  My all time favorite and TNT!

8. The day dress. Umm. I’m thinking. So, the purpose of the day dress is to what? Go grocery shopping and run errands? Wash clothes and clean toilets? Or keep it clean hiding behind an apron whilst cooking your family’s favorite meal? Wait, no! It’s to be worn while riding the mower and washing the car! Ok, got it. It is for last minute lunch options with your bored-to-death-girlfriend-because-she-is-always-talking-about-her-dead-beat-boyfriends! Ok, I think I nailed it. So, what’s on that list? I don’t know yet. I’ll have to come back. (But if you have any suggestions, let me know.)

9. Jacket. Boy, oh, boy. The jacket. I have made a few jackets during my sewing journey and only one came out worth keeping. The last one, I liked it but it just was not right. It has been given away…the whole outfit! I vowed not to visit that pattern again – but I’m no punk!! So guess what? I’m going to do that jacket again! It’s the only choice for this category.

Misses' Jackets I actually mailed this pattern to another seamstress. Decided I would give it another try and went back and bought it. So, I will see how this goes.

10. A sweat suit alternative? Well, well, well. I’m not quite sure if I want an alternative to my sweat suits. And what would that be anyway? Tim says we usually end up looking like slobs in our sweat suits. He just may be on to something there. Here is what he suggests: Find a comfortable material (that's why this doesn't say jeans again – denim is not as comfortable as a nice soft cotton) that you would want to wear every day. It could be khakis, cords, a cotton dress, or much more. Ok, I was doing ok until he said much more. That left the gate open again. If, I am comprehending this thing correct, maybe the next few patterns fit the bill.

V2064Vogue 2064 – A pattern I have been  “making” since it came out.  

B5651B5651 –  I like the look with the black top layered with the white tank.

Misses' & Plus Size Sportswear Another pattern that’s been in the “making” stage. In the same color, too (with paisley). I actually took it back out Dec 30th so I can get it off the table. This may be the first ‘done’ piece.  First done: Take a look.

And just when you thought it was done, there is one more piece. Tim calls it the “one indulgent trendy item”. Now, there is no descript for this piece – nothing. So, I am left to believe that I can do whatever I choose. But what will it ever be? I mean, I have not one clue. I did, however, go through the stash of patterns to see what was trendy; what was indulgent. I found quite a few, these are just two…there are more. I just don’t want to overwhelm myself with choices right now.

V1211Vogue 1211



McCall’s 6404

I got to thinking and thought, “Hey, how about making a simple piece trendy?” Cool. So, I think I can make one of these patterns into an indulgent item. 


B4800   or   M6359  


Nevermind. Thought gone wrong.

Well, this is Part 1 of the 10 Essential Wardrobe Pieces. 

Until later, Schey.